I can take absolutely zero credit for the recipe that will round out the end of this post. It can be found on page 259 of the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. I was simply reminded of it (and the four pints I still had stashed in the back of the pantry from last year) when Renae comment on the Marinated Asparagus post.

The Complete Book is the first home canning book I ever owned and I still can from it regularly. My mother bought it for me when I first started out. She just up and delivered it one day, along with one of those handy dandy canning tool kits. Which was a nice surprise given that we are not particularly close and she has never been terribly interested in the domestic arts herself.


What I’ve learned about the early spring canning season since then is that rhubarb is, fortunately, more forgiving of various preservation techniques than asparagus. You can make all manner of chutneys, sauces, pie fillings, and condiments from rhubarb. Many of which The Man will profess to despise in the heat of the moment, but then fawn over a few months later when the fact that you made a barbecue sauce out of rhubarb is far from his mind and he’s chowing down on spare ribs coated in the stuff.

While the official name for this recipe is “Victorian Barbecue Sauce” I like to keep the ingredients a bit chunky, making it more of a rhubarb chutney than a rhubarb-based sauce. This way I can serve it different ways depending on what suits my fancy at the time, either just sort of dolloped atop the meat or stirred into a hearty stew-type dish as is, or processed in the blender with a little added liquid at the last minute and then used as a proper sauce to marinate and coat. It works beautifully both ways.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Victorian Barbecue Sauce
Recipe type: Condiment
  • 8 Cups Chopped Rhubarb
  • 3½ Cups Lightly Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1½ Cups Chopped Raisins
  • ½ Cup Chopped Onion
  • ½ Cup White Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Allspice
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 1 tsp Salt
  1. Prepare canner, jars, and lids.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened to the consistency of a thin commercial barbecue sauce, about 30 minutes.
  3. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars, leaving ½ inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot sauce. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
  4. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.


*Amazon links above are affiliate links. If you buy a book or canning kit I might make a nickel or two.

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