Petite Sirah Prickly Pear BBQ Sauce

Petite Sirah Prickly Pear BBQ Sauce


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Private Reserve Petite Sirah
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 stalks celery finely chopped
  • 1/4 small onion finely chopped, 2-3 tbsp
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped prickly pear (see instructions)
  • 1 lemon juice and finely grated zest
  • 1-2 tbsp brown sugar optional
  • salt to taste
  • water as needed up to ¾ cup to thin the sauce to pourable consistency


  • To prepare whole prickly pears, cut the ends off with a paring knife, holding the pear at the end of a fork. It’s a good idea to wear gloves: the pear may still have some prickles. Cut the fruit into ½ inch dice, then puree in the food processor, running the machine in short bursts. Use a fine sieve to strain the resulting puree to remove all seeds. You’ll need about 1 pound of prickly pears to obtain 1 cup puree.
  • Place the ketchup, vinegar, Petite Sirah, Worcestershire sauce, oil, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaf, smoked paprika, and pepper in a heavy saucepan. Gently simmer over medium heat until the celery and onion are tender and the mixture highly flavorful, 15 minutes. 
  • Add prickly pear, stir to blend, and then strain the entire mixture (I use a Chinois and it works perfectly) into another saucepan. (Adding the prickly pear to the sauce before the straining should eliminate any residual seeds.) Stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Simmer over medium heat until thick and richly flavored, 4 to 6 minutes. If a sweeter sauce is desired, whisk in the sugar. Correct the seasoning, adding vinegar if needed or optional salt to taste.


Recipe created by Vintage House Restaurant at Messina Hof.  Join the Chef and his culinary team on the third Sunday of each month for cooking classes at the restaurant.  For more information, visit
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