As we kick off another year of July Month Of Grilling, I was very excited to find ripe guavas in a local grocery store as I’ve got several recipes I’ve been meaning to share with you all, involving guavas. The scent of ripe guavas takes me right back to my childhood days on the islands and climbing the guava tree in our front yard (no longer there unfortunately) with my little brother and racing to the areas of the tree where the guavas were mature and ready to pick. Besides passion fruit, I don’t think there’s not another tropical fruit which naturally lends itself to the complex (flavor) nature of a good BBQ sauce.
12 Guavas (ripe)
1 lime (juice)
1/4 cup raw brown sugar
small stick cinnamon
3 cups apple juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 scallions (finely chopped)
6 sprigs thyme (no stems)
1/2 large Vadilia onion (diced fine)
2 cloves garlic (smashed)
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoon molasses
1 1/4 cup chili sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
1/2 cup apple juice
Wash and trim off the tops off the guava (refer to the video below), then cut into segments. In a deep saucepan place the apple juice, guavas (keep the seeds it’s ok), brown sugar, small stick of cinnamon, lime juice and 3 cloves over a med/high heat and bring to a boil. As soon as you start seeing bubbles, reduce to a simmer and let it cook for about 25-30 minutes.
The goal is to enhance the apple juice with the lovely flavor of the ripe guava. Note : Your kitchen/home will smell like Christmas. In another deep saucepan on low heat, add the oil, followed by the scallion, garlic, thyme and onion. If you don’t have the sweet Vadilia onion, you may use a Spanish or regular onion. Cook on low for about 4-5 minutes. Please add the smoked paprika (I used a hot one) and stir well.
You now can go in with the tomato paste (heat still on low) and cook for another minute or two. Stir as the natural sugars in the tomato paste may cause it to stick and potentially burn.
Deglaze with the apple juice and apple cider vinegar and turn the heat up as we want to bring it to a boil now. Add the black pepper, salt, molasses and chili sauce. Stir well.
As it comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer. The guavas should be fully tender now and the apple juice infused with it’s flavor. Strain and save back some of the fleshy part of the guava (I used about 12 pieces…no seeds).
Add this guava nectar to the pot and bring to a boil. Be very careful when straining the guava as it can splash and burn you. Then reduce to a simmer and let it cook for 35-40 minutes.
The last step is to break everything down with a stick blender. Pulse it a few times, taste it for salt and adjust to your own liking. I didn’t have to do anything to mine. Store in a clean glass jar in the fridge for up to one month. If you don’t have a stick blender you can cool it down a bit then use a traditional blender. Or skip that step and use a whisk or potato masher to break down the pieces of guava.
The subtle kick from the smoke paprika added the perfect heat for me, but you can certainly add some finely diced scotch bonnet pepper or your fav hotsauce to the brew. Additionally you may add some liquid smoke if you want the deep smoky flavor to the finished guava bbq sauce.
Please note that as the Guava BBQ Sauce cools it will thicken naturally.
Do you own a copy of my cookbook ?- The Vibrant Caribbean Pot 100 Traditional And Fusion recipes Vol 2
Don’t forget to stay tuned in as we explore another month of exciting and delicious foods off the grill, influenced by the culinary culture of the Caribbean.