The first and most important step in making authentic Texas-style barbecue is a great “mop.” The mop, so called because it is usually applied with the household apparatus of the same name, is basically a marinade, basting sauce, and dipping sauce all in one. Real Texas barbecue masters mop several dozen chickens, slabs of ribs, and briskets at a time, so they need an actual string mop to handle the task.
In a large sauté pan on a medium-high flame, add the olive oil and butter. Add the onion, garlic, and shallots, and sauté until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoe purée, tomato paste, 1⁄2 cup beer, the water, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce and heat until simmering, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the brown sugar, chili powder, mustard powder, cumin, and cayenne; simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove the barbecue sauce from heat, pour into a bowl, and cover, reserving 1 cup of the sauce in a separate medium-size bowl. Add 1 cup of beer to the reserved 1 cup of sauce to make a barbecue mop; mix thoroughly.
Grill the wings according to the method described on page 19, basting the wings periodically with the barbecue mop. During the last 10 minutes of cooking (with the lid closed), baste the wings with the full-strength barbecue sauce.
Serve the wings hot off the grill with the remaining barbecue sauce on the side.
Marinade and Dipping Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 white onion, finely chopped
5 large garlic cloves, passed through a garlic press
3 shallots, finely chopped
11⁄2 cups canned tomato purée
1⁄2 cup tomato paste
11⁄2 cups beer
1⁄2 cup water
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon dried cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
30 chicken wings, small wing joint removed
Serves 4 (with barbecue sauce left over)
[This post originally appeared in Wing It! (Clarkson Potter)]