Make the most of cherry season in New Mexico with this sweet and tangy recipe. (from Winning Pick, June 2021). Photograph by Douglas Merriam.

Tangy Cherry-Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Makes about 4½ cups 

To tame the heat, adjust the cayenne and chipotles. If you prefer a smooth sauce, purée in a blender with an additional
½ cup of water. 

2 cups finely chopped onions
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
4 canned chipotles or to taste (including adobo sauce)
½ cup molasses
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1½ cups water
3 cups pitted cherries, fresh or frozen (thawed), halved

Makes about 4½ cups


  1. Place onions in a medium saucepan and sauté over medium heat until they begin to brown. Lower the heat and add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, stirring until the onions are well coated. Allow to simmer on low for 10 minutes.

  2. Whisk in remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sauce will thicken slightly. Store in refrigerator for up to 7 days.

  3. Serve with roasted pork or chicken or brush on ribs as they grill.