By Shari Goodman

You can quickly make a complex and intense homemade barbecue sauce that sizzles. Simply blend all ingredients, then add smoke and meat, and you’ll have a license to grill.

Sip some Zin with this ‘Que. Redemption Zinfandel 2007 ($21.95, LCBO) is peppery and full of blackberries worthy of tasting on its own, but it can easily battle it out with a steak. This bottle is from the Sonoma County in California where Zinfandels have a well-earned reputation.

Barbeque is a summer ritual: gathering around the grill, catching up with friends and sipping something sippable. It’s quick, easy and a treat since the outdoor chef is often not the usual chef of the kitchen. Barbeque is a cooking method that technically requires indirect heat and smoke from charcoal or a wood fire. But it’s outdoors, it’s summer and it’s time to chill on the etymology.

This is an easy dinner to throw together. Just blend ketchup, lemon juice, chili sauce and a half dozen or so other seasonings, throw some tenderloin on the grill sprinkled with salt and pepper, and paint them with this homemade sauce. After the sauce bonds with the flame and meat, you’ll have a tender and tasty meal worthy of redemption.

Spicy Barbeque Sauce

6 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2½ teaspoons water
1 teaspoon chili sauce
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon yellow mustard
¼ teaspoon ginger, minced
¼ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground

Whizz all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.

For extra flavour, you could marinate the beef overnight in this barbecue sauce.

As a perpetual student in the kitchen, I’m always buying a new ingredient at the market, reading a cookbook, collecting food props for photography or browsing the kitchen gadget stores. After the encouragement of winning a recipe contest for my homemade yeast buns at the local library when I was 10 years old, I have been collecting recipes ever since. Now I write about my food experiences on my blog (whiskblog.com) as I work my way through a cooking school curriculum. I also enjoy the table-side of the kitchen as a restaurant reviewer for a local commuter newspaper, and I freelance as a food editor for a new magazine called Taste & Travel. Recently, I completed Basic Cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa.