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Updated Recipe: Joe Perry’s ‘Let The Bar-B-Q Sauce Do The Howling’


A serving of pulled pork sandwich made with the Mango Peach Tango version of Let The Bar-B-Q Sauce Do The Howling barbecue sauce, along with a side of my Oven-Roasted Potato Salad.

A few years back I was rather hot and heavy into making all kinds of fun dishes with Joe Perry’s hot sauces. In case you live under a rock, Joe is the phenomenal lead guitarist for the Boys From Boston themselves, aka Aerosmith. I’d developed a decent volunteer working relationship with Aaron Hirsch who runs the company for Joe as well as being Joe’s stepson. We’d worked on a few things, and when they launched Joe’s new site in early 2008, six of the ten recipes on Joe’s official Recipes page were mine, complete with photos out of my own kitchen. Those recipes and photos are still there today.

One of Joe’s original recipes however has been conspicuously absent from Joe’s site since 2008. Way back when, the first recipe I ever made with Joe’s habañero-based Boneyard Brew Hot Sauce was a rather interesting barbecue sauce titled, “Let The Bar-B-Q Sauce Do The Howling”. Joe’s hot sauce has quite a rich tomato flavor to it which is well-balanced with a smooth follow-up “kick” from just the right amount of habañero peppers. The resulting barbecue sauce won’t knock you over or burn the nerves on your tongue, but instead allows you to enjoy both the meat it’s used with and the sauce itself while spicing things up just enough to where the large majority of people who have tried it at our house have seriously enjoyed it.

At one point Aaron had sent bottles of both the Boneyard Brew Hot Sauce and the Mango Peach Tango Sauce. The latter hot sauce, while still containing a good batch of habañeros, is milder than its brother. It also has a nice sweet and fruity flavor from peaches, mangos and a bit of fresh lime juice. Interestingly enough the limes, by Joe’s own requirement, have to be squeezed the day the sauce is made and bottled. For a change I made a batch of the “Let The Bar-B-Q Sauce Do The Howling” barbecue sauce with the Mango Peach Tango Sauce instead of the Boneyard Brew Hot Sauce. We instantly liked it even better! A couple Sundays later we had a get-together at the house. I made two batches of BBQ Pulled Pork in two crock pots, each with a different version of the “Let The Bar-B-Q Sauce Do The Howling” recipe. 25 people in the house including Chef Tad from the Frog Leg Inn, and the Mango Peach Tango Sauce version disappeared long before the Boneyard Brew Hot Sauce version was even halfway gone. I think Tad actually had more than a couple sandwiches …

Aaron Hirsch has never told me why the recipe for “Let The Bar-B-Q Sauce Do The Howling” barbecue sauce wasn’t included when joeperry.com went live in February 2008. I have a suspicion though that it was related to the new bottle sizes, which are 5 ounces each. I had actually saved all the recipes from the former web site for Joe’s hot sauces and still have a copy of the recipe for “Let The Bar-B-Q Sauce Do The Howling” barbecue sauce. The ingredient list looked like this:

1 small-to-medium onion
1 24 oz. bottle ketchup
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 cup water
1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
1/2 cup Joe Perry’s Rock Your World™ Boneyard Brew Hot Sauce
1-1/2 Tbsp beef stock
Vegetable or extra-virgin olive oil for sautéing onions

A half cup of hot sauce is 8 ounces. With the new 5 ounce bottles you end up using one bottle plus a partial, leaving 2 ounces left over. You then end up trying to figure out a use for those two ounces. Unless you like hot sauce on your eggs or your Marine Corps MRE omelet, you’ll end up with those 2 ounces in your fridge for eternity. Of course, this is all just conjecture on my part …

In redeveloping the recipe I re-worked all the amounts based on two bottles, or 10 ounces, of Joe’s hot sauces. Other amounts went slightly out of whack and needed fudging: The recipe then needed 30 ounces of ketchup (125% of the original amount) but is only available in 24 and 32 ounce bottles. Using the 32 ounce bottle meant decreasing the final amounts of the other fluid ingredients. However, this does kick up the tomato characteristics of the barbecue sauce which keeps in line with Joe’s own philosophy about his hot sauces, i.e. “rich tomato flavor, then the habañero kick”. I’ve also specified Heinz ketchup, as the brand you use does affect the flavor of the resulting barbecue sauce. (The Simply Heinz version of ketchup in the above photo includes real sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup.) And finally, I’ve changed the sautéeing liquid to unsalted butter which is also better-tasting.

One question that might be asked is, why go up with the amounts instead of down? Why specify two bottles of hot sauce instead of going with one? There are a few answers for this. When ordering sauce I normally order an even number just out of habit. I’ll likely buy four bottles, which could be four of the same type or two of each. Regardless, I’ll end up with at least two bottles of what I want to use anyway.  Also, the recipe now makes about 2/3 gallon of barbecue sauce. During the summer grilling season here in Michigan I’ll easily go through that cooking various meals through a given good-weather week, especially if we have company. And of course, the more hot sauce you buy, the more money Joe gets. He’s been getting my money for more than 30 years. There’s no point in stopping now.

Having said all that, I’ll go ahead and post two ingredient lists in the recipe below. The two-bottle recipe is for my own satisfaction. The single-bottle version is for busy couples in NYC lofts who never entertain and the like. You know who you are … As an addition to the recipe, the single-bottle version will also be best for scaling for larger amounts such as family reunions and catering. In doing so I’ve converted all the ingredients in the single-bottle version to weights instead of volume measurements (cups, tablespoons, teaspoons, etc.) Anyone who has cooked professionally will know scaling works best as a physical weight as the multiplication by servings is considerably more accurate. After the scaling conversion is complete, the recipe can then be converted back to volume measurements if desired.

Joe Perry’s ‘Let The Bar-B-Q Sauce Do The Howling’ (2011 version)

Ingredients – Two Bottles Hot Sauce
Yield: About 2/3 gallon
1 medium onion
1 32 oz. bottle Heinz ketchup
2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1-3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons white vinegar
10 oz (2 bottles) Joe Perry’s Rock Your World™ Boneyard Brew Hot Sauce or Mango Peach Tango Sauce
2 tablespoons beef stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter for sautéeing onions

Ingredients – One Bottle Hot Sauce, Scalable
Yield: About 1/3 gallon
6 oz. chopped onion
16 oz. Heinz ketchup
5-1/3 oz. Worcestershire sauce
14 oz. water
1/3 oz. white vinegar
5 oz. Joe Perry’s Rock Your World™ Boneyard Brew Hot Sauce or Mango Peach Tango Sauce
1 oz. beef stock
1/2 oz. unsalted butter for sautéeing onions

Chop the onion. Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large pot and then sautée the onion in the butter until translucent.

Lower the heat slightly and add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, lowering the heat as the sauce thickens.

Use as you would any other barbecue sauce.

Recipe Notes:

  • When made with the Boneyard Brew Hot Sauce, this barbecue sauce creates hot fumes that will make you tear up when first making it. Please simmer this sauce and clean up the pot in a well-ventilated area! It’s much safer later when you’re cooking with the finished barbecue sauce.
  • It’s beef stock, not broth. There’s a difference in how they’re made, so make sure you have beef stock.
  • Get good brands of the other ingredients, such as Heinz Ketchup, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce, Swanson beef stock, etc. If you get cheap stuff with little flavor, the flavor and texture of the resulting barbecue sauce will certainly suffer.
  • We like a Spanish or a red onion with the Boneyard Brew Hot Sauce, and a Vidalia sweet onion with the Mango Peach Tango Sauce.
  • Chop the onion as large or as small as you’d like. The sauce is good regardless, it’s up to you if you’d like it slightly chunky.
  • Our favorite way to use this is to slow-cook about 8 lbs of pork shoulder in a crock pot on low heat for about 7 hours before hand-pulling. The entire amount of a two-bottle batch of Let The Bar-B-Q Sauce Do The Howling can then be stirred into the pulled pork and served on good buns as shown in the first photo.

3 comments to Updated Recipe: Joe Perry’s ‘Let The Bar-B-Q Sauce Do The Howling’

  • Tommajean

    Checked out the Joe Perry recipes on his site. His Boneyard Coney Sauce, v. 2.0 looks good. I did that with sausage in sauerkraut one time, it was really soft and crumbly. My hubby’s favorite hot dog sauce (from a joint now closed) had that same texture, though I didn’t think of this possibility at the time. I’m planning on trying it and combining it with your coney sauce recipe. I may end up with a mess, but it sure sounds like a tasty idea.

  • Actually Tommajean, that’s one of the six recipes they took from my blog. The original post is here and those are my son Adam’s hands in the photos. I’m actually working on another recipe today, a salsa, and hope to have it posted here this evening, if not then tomorrow evening.

  • Tommajean

    Don’t know how I missed that post!! I saw the mention of “Adam’s” hands in the photos, but it just didn’t connect. You should have had credit on Joe’s site.

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