Rich Daigle, creator of Salt Lake City’s sizzling Red Rock Hot Club band, plays le jazz manouche, otherwise known as gypsy jazz or hot jazz—in the tradition of the great Django Reinhardt and Paris of the 1930s and ’40s. You can catch them frequently on Fridays at Caffe Niche.
But, it turns out that Daigle is more than a musician with a friendly twinkle in his eye. He’s also a gifted guitar builder and cook. When I tried his Carolina barbecue sauce at a backyard fete, I begged him to give me the recipe so I could share it with you. Honestly, you cannot buy this stuff. Make a batch and you’ll be hooked. It’s not so much “hot” as it is complex—with flavors that linger and leave you wanting more, more, more. Daigle says it’s the hint of ground cloves.
To make your own big batch of Red Rock Hot Club Red Carolina BBQ Sauce, mix 1 quart apple cider vinegar, 1 cup ketchup, 6 ounces light-brown sugar, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt, 2 tablespoons crushed red-pepper flakes, 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper and a “healthy dash” of freshly ground cloves (use a mortar and pestle or coffee or spice grinder) in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes and serve at room temperature.
Daigle, who smokes his own meats and fish, served his sauce in a plastic squeeze bottle so we could dribble it over smoked pulled pork, but he says it also makes incredible coleslaw. Just toss it in with your favorite bagged slaw mix and sprinkle with celery seed. With its vinegar base, it keeps well. He also claims it can turn “headbanging metalheads into Hot Club swing fans.” (RedRockHotClub.com)