Barbecued Pork Made with Homemade Ketchup And a Jicama Slaw

Finished Barbecue Pork
Homemade ketchup is a cinch to make and takes only a few minutes of time. And the difference between store bought and from-scratch is extraordinary. The ketchup is a little spicy and full of flavor. And then when you use that as a base for barbecue sauce? You have an incredible barbecue sauce that really is finger-licking good. Oh, and it will clean out your sinuses too. So, top a nice grilled pork chop with the sauce and serve a jimaca slaw on the side and you’ll have a healthy and gorgeous dinner that will bring everyone to the table.

A couple of years ago my grandmother told me something that changed my life. I was lamenting the gazillion pounds (no exaggeration*) of tomatoes that I had received as a gift, but after the first 10 pounds they felt like a practical joke. I couldn’t process them fast enough to even feel like I was making a dent in the sheer poundage.

And my grandmother said: “You know, you can just freeze them.”

I was astounded. “Honest and for true? I can just…freeze them raw?” I asked.

“Oh, yes,” my grandmother said. “You can’t use them in a salad or anything like that, but they’re great for sauces. And that way you have beautiful summer tomatoes – that are a little freezer burned – but still miles better than winter tomatoes.”

So, every summer I freeze pounds and pounds of tomatoes – just for a recipe like this one.

Homemade Ketchup Recipe

Finished homemade ketchup

Yield 1 ½ cups


1 pint of cherry tomatoes (Because mine were frozen I just ran them under lukewarm water until they defrosted.)

1 dried chipotle pepper

½ cup of boiling water

1 small onion, diced

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Black pepper


1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard

½ teaspoon of allspice

¼ cup of apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

¼ cup of brown sugar


Pour boiling water over chipotle pepper and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes. Blend the tomatoes together with the chipotle pepper and 1 tablespoon of the cooking water. In a medium pot, saute the onion with olive oil, salt and pepper over medium-low heat until softened, about 5-7 minutes. Add the tomatoes, mustard, allspice, vinegar, tomato paste and brown sugar. Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Sweet and Spicy Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Yields 1 ½ cups of sauce.


1 ½ cups of apple vinegar

¾ cup of homemade ketchup

1 heaping tablespoon of tomato paste

½ cup of water

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of pickled jalapenos, diced


Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sauce pan and simmer for 20 minutes over medium-low heat. The sauce will be reduced by half. Remove from heat.

Grilled Spice Rubbed Pork Chops Recipe

Grilled pork chops


4 boneless pork chops

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 teaspoon of chipotle powder

1 teaspoon of paprika (optional)

2 tablespoons of olive oil


Preheat grill. Mix the olive oil and spices together on a paper plate. Coat the pork chops all over with the olive oil/spice mixture. Grill pork on each side for approximately 4 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 150. Tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Jicama Slaw

Jicama slaw

Serves 4.


½ of a jicama

2 carrots, shredded

2 scallions, chopped

½ of a red bell pepper, diced

¼ cup of olive oil

1 tablespoon of sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon of dijon mustard

Black pepper

Kosher salt


Cut the jicama in half and peel the skin off. Shred the jicama with a box grater or in a food processor. Combine the jicama, carrots, scallions and red pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, sherry vinegar, dijon, pepper and salt. Pour this vinaigrette over the slaw and refrigerate for 1 hour, to let the flavors meld.

Serve the pork chops with barbecue sauce and slaw.

*Ok, I didn’t literally have a gazillion pounds of tomatoes. But I had an awful lot of them. Boxes and boxes stacked on top of the kitchen table as a gift from my father-in-law’s garden. Just to clarify, I knew what I was getting into when he asked if we wanted “some” tomatoes. The man has a green thumb, and must grow twice his body weight in cherry tomatoes each summer. But, there’s just no way that I can say “no” to more tomatoes than I know what to do with. I. Just. Can’t. Say. No.

(© Photos by Launie Kettler)

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