Try chef Bobby Flay’s irresistible barbecue sauce on chicken, fish or burgers at your next party.

By Jonna Gallo Weppler

Sixteen restaurants. Eleven cookbooks. Hundreds of TV episodes since his first Food Network show (Grillin' and Chillin') premiered over a decade ago—and he still counts Iron Chef AmericaBobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction and cohosting Food Network Star among his regular gigs. Yet no matter how fired up he gets work-wise, the affable redhead is never happier than when he's manning his own grill and connecting with friends at casual get-togethers. Try his irresistible barbecue sauce on chicken, fish or burgers at your next party.

Bobby Flay's Red Wine Barbecue Sauce


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large shallots, coarsely chopped

2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons ground ancho chile

1 tablespoon smoked sweet Spanish paprika

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 cup dry red wine, such as Pinot Noir

1 cup ketchup

1 heaping tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 canned chipotle chile in adobo, chopped

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon molasses

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add ground ancho, paprika and cayenne and cook for 30 seconds. Raise heat to high, add wine and boil until completely evaporated.
  2. Add ketchup and 1/2 cup water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, chipotle, brown sugar, honey and molasses and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature. In a tightly sealed container, sauce will keep for 1 week in the refrigerator. Makes 1 cup.

Bobby Flay's Barbecue Cocktail

According to Bobby: "Given my love of grilling and barbecue, this drink was inevitable. Smoky paprika, savory tomato juice, and vodka with a spicy kick meet dry vermouth and tangy lime juice in this cocktail that's perfect with burgers, steaks, fish tacos and, well, almost anything barbecued."


Ice cubes

2 ounces jalapeño vodka

1/4 ounce dry vermouth

1 ounce tomato juice

1/2 ounce fresh lime juice, plus 1/4 teaspoon for rimming glass

Pinch of kosher salt, plus 1/4 teaspoon for rimming glass

Pinch of smoked sweet Spanish paprika, plus 1/4 teaspoon for rimming glass

1/4 teaspoon sugar for rimming glass

Lime twist, for garnish


  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice and add the vodka, vermouth, tomato juice, lime juice, salt and paprika. Stir vigorously until the outside of the glass is beaded with sweat and frosty.
  2. Combine the 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon sugar on a small plate. Wet the rim of a chilled martini glass with 1/4 teaspoon lime juice and dip the rim in the salt mixture. Tap off any excess.
  3. Strain the drink into the chilled martini glass and garnish with the lime twist.

Recipes courtesy of Bobby Flay's Bar Americain Cookbook: Celebrate America's Great Flavors (Clarkson Potter, 2011).

Bobby Flay's Grilling Tips

"For sauces, I use good-quality paintbrushes from the hardware store and replace them often, since after a while they're hard to get clean. Pastry brushes are fine but expensive."

"The most challenging thing about grilling is knowing when to stop. When in doubt, it's better to undercook than overcook. You can always put food back on the fire."

Family Circle: For grilling, gas or charcoal?

Bobby Flay: I use both, and each has its advantages. Gas is easy to light and control. Charcoal is a lot more work but gives food a smokiness that gas can never quite imitate. For charcoal, you need a chimney starter. Don't even talk to me about lighter fluid, which can be dangerous and will impart a horrible flavor to your food unless it burns off completely. However you decide to go, the grill grates should be reasonably clean.

Originally published in the August 2012 issue of Family Circle magazine.