Sweet & Tangy Barbecue
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This Sweet & Tangy Barbecue is the perfect star for a Trim Healthy Mama-friendly picnic! It's low glycemic and South Carolina inspired. Check the notes section below for allergy info (gluten, egg, dairy, and nut free options) as well as more detailed notes about the THM fuel type and nutritional information.
Recipe type: Entrée
Cuisine: THM S or FP, Low Glycemic
Serves: 10-12
  • 3 lb. shredded cooked chicken, pork, or turkey (weighed after cooking)
  • -
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • -
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • -
  • 4 cups no-sugar-added ketchup
  • ⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sriracha
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons each chili powder, onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon THM Super Sweet Blend
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ½ teaspoon each cayenne pepper, black pepper
  1. In a large kettle (I used a soup kettle) on the stovetop, toast the minced onion and garlic in the butter until golden brown. Add the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pan, then add the last section of ingredients and whisk together to complete the sauce. Feel free to tweak the sweetness, heat, acidity, and salt levels to your own personal taste. I didn’t add any salt because I felt it wasn’t needed.
  2. Add the shredded meat of your choice to the sauce, stir to combine, and heat through. Stir occasionally to continue shredding the meat to a finer consistency. Serve.
  3. This barbecue is great served up in colorful bell pepper halves, a low-carb wrap, or half of a Joseph’s pita, or over salad.
-Since the only major fat source in the sauce is the 2 tablespoons of butter spread over 10-12 servings, you could actually make this barbecue a Fuel Pull by using shredded chicken or turkey breast. Dark meat poultry or pork will make this barbecue a THM S. I haven’t tried using the sauce on its own, but if you do that, it’s a Fuel Pull as long as you stick to one-sixth of the batch (or less) per serving. I personally used shredded boiled chicken thighs to make this because I had leftover meat from another recipe. The dark meat chicken made some of the finest shreds I have ever had in barbecue and was SO good. I just boiled chicken thighs in a pot of water until they were falling off the bone, then took the meat off the bones and saved the broth for something else. It’s a bit labor intensive, but chicken thighs are usually really cheap and the result was amazing flavor and texture.
-Some balsamic vinegars are higher in natural sugars than others, so try to find one with 2 grams of sugar per serving or less. I like the deep, fruity notes it adds in this barbecue, but feel free to swap out another vinegar in its place.
-Let’s talk ketchup. NSA ketchup can be hard to find in stores, so the easiest option is probably just to make your own. There’s an easy recipe on page 482 of the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook, and I’m sure you can find other homemade low-carb ketchup recipes online.
-Up to ¼ teaspoon molasses per serving is allowed on the THM plan for flavor. In this recipe it mimics a brown sugar flavor.
-I had a terrible time calculating accurate nutritional information for this recipe because of trying to make calculations using pre-cooked meat and a ketchup recipe from a cookbook. When I finally figured out the ballpark nutritional info, the carbs were higher than what is allowed for THM S and FP guidelines (10g net carbs per serving). All the ingredients I used were within THM guidelines for S and FP, so I’m personally not going to worry about the discrepancy (but neither would I eat this barbecue every day). I’ve always heard and gone by the premise that ingredients trump numbers, and I personally don’t count my macros and have done just fine on plan. I’ve decided not to include the nutritional info with this recipe since I’m not sure if it was accurate or not anyway (I got many different counts from the software I was using) and didn’t want to confuse anyone. If it makes you feel better, call this recipe a crossover if using a fatty meat or use shredded chicken breast and add a moderate carb source for an E meal.
ALLERGY INFO (for barbecue only, not serving accoutrements; always be sure to use non-contaminated ingredients for your particular allergy):
-Gluten Free: use non-contaminated ingredients and be sure to use gluten-free soy sauce (or an allergy-friendly alternative) and gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
-Egg Free: use an egg-free Dijon mustard brand
-Dairy Free: use a dairy-free Dijon mustard brand and substitute a dairy-free butter-flavored coconut oil for the butter
-Nut Free
Recipe by Briana Thomas at https://www.briana-thomas.com/sweet-tangy-barbecue/