I usually start with the beer, vinegar, sugar and honey as a base. It is important to use honey as well as brown sugar. Then add the tomato sauce and mustard. The mustard usually doesn’t dissolve right away. Don’t use too much tomato sauce. The Lousiana hot sauce and red pepper are added to taste. I usually add the juice from the orange last as it is very powerful. Don’t add too much. Add a little at a time and taste. The salt is important. It somehow blends everything together. Again add a little and taste, don’t add too much. Cook the whole thing until the sugar carmelizes together. Don’t let it boil. Don’t keep it on the heat too long. When making Smitty’s (and the way I cook in general) I usually don’t follow the chemists’ approach and cook by taste comparing to what I did last time.
Smitty’s Sauce came from a place we went to after the bars closed in Rochester, N.Y. Smitty deep fried chicken and had BBQ’d ribs and beef. The serving of meet was dunked in a vat of sauce and served on top of two slices of wonder bread along with macaroni salad. Smitty always wore a .38 cal. snub nose on his belt and had this wonderful poster of an old woman saying “You don’t need no teeth to eat my meat” on the wall. The recipe was always a secret. After many years of trying to clone and failing we ended up partying with someone who worked there part time. Smitty makes his sauce with plain vinegar, dextrose and some generic hot sauce. We embellished and yuppified things over the years, changing to brown sugar and apple cider vinegar. It is possible to make a passable Smitty’s using Budweiser, plain vinegar, white sugar and frozen orange juice concentrate, yet why bother?
Enjoy - G