This post was originally shared July 2014. Text and images have been updated.
Is there anything more Southern than barbecue and bourbon? Well, my honey bourbon barbecue tempeh version...maybe not so much.
Living in South Carolina, we are lucky to have the absolute best barbecue in the nation in our backyard. Don't @ me Texans and North Carolinians. We're famous for having four regional types of sauce, but the most well known is the mustard-based sauce that's made around where I live in the midlands. If you've only had the syrupy sweet ketchup-based barbecue sauce, you'll love the tangy flavor of our mustard sauce.
This recipe for honey bourbon barbecue sauce is one of the few red sauces I like, because it's still nice and tangy. You can use it on chicken, pork and fish too, but I love it with these chunks of tempeh for a vegetarian spin on the barbecue sandwich. I was inspired by this recipe for barbecue tempeh sandwich and thought it would be fun to put my own spin on it. If you've never tried tempeh before, you might really enjoy it. While it's made with soybeans, just like tofu, it has a lot more flavor to it. You could also crumbled the tempeh up in the sauce and simmer to make it more like a chopped barbecue sandwich.
Honey Bourbon Barbecue Tempeh Sandwich
Makes 4 sandwiches, with about 1 cup of sauce leftover
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 14-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup bourbon
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 16 ounces (2 packages) tempeh
- Hamburger buns
- Pickles (optional, but not really)
- Coleslaw or shredded cabbage
- Heat olive oil on medium in a medium sized pot. Add garlic, onions and red pepper flakes and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes, until thickened. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth, or let it cool slightly before blending in a food processor.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Slice each loaf of tempeh into six slices. Toss the tempeh with 1/2 cup BBQ sauce and spread evenly on an oiled baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until warmed through.
- Assemble sandwiches with tempeh, extra BBQ sauce, pickles and slaw.
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