Spunky Barbecue Sauces and Rubs & A Food Gal Giveaway

Sauces you won't forget. Made in San Francisco.

Chef Sarah Burchard knows her meat — and what goes well on top of it.

After all, for three years, she worked at Perbacco, then Barbacco, both in San Francisco, where she regularly broke down whole animals to make the fabulous house-made salumi. She left her position as chef de cuisine at that latter restaurant earlier this year to start her own San Francisco company, S&S Brand, with boyfriend and fellow chef, Spencer O’Meara, who’s no stranger to grilling and smoking meats.

They’re now selling their three specialty barbecue sauces (St. Louis Style, Tennessee Style, and Carolina Style), as well as six rubs (BBQ Spice, 4 Peppercorn, Fish Rub, Jerk Rub, Poultry Rub, and Ranch Rub).

Pork loin with BBQ rub and Tennessee Style sauce.

Recently, I had a chance to try some samples. The BBQ Spice and the 4 Peppercorn both livened up grilled pork loins. I especially liked the Szechuan peppercorns in the latter rub, which added a subtle palate tingle.

The barbecue sauces are what really steal the show, though. Not that barbecue sauces are ever wimpy, but these are major attention-getters. With their powerhouse of tang and spice, these sauces are assertive and sassy. In fact, if you drizzle these on meat that you’ve smeared the rubs on, you probably won’t even taste the rubs. The Tennessee Style sauce, full of mustard and onions, is sharp and piquant. The St. Louis Style, redolent of molasses, cumin and coriander, is smokier and sweeter.

The sauces contain high fructose corn syrup because of the addition of Heinz Ketchup. But Burchard and O’Meara are in the process of switching to organic ketchup, so the sauces will be made with sugar in the near future.

The sauces are $8 each for a 12-ounce jar; the rubs are $7 each for a 2-ounce tin.

Six varieites of gourmet rubs.

Contest: One lucky Food Gal reader will get a chance to try an S&S Brand Combo Pack, which includes all three barbecue sauces and all six rubs. It’s a $57 value. Contest, open only to those in the continental United States, will run through midnight PST Dec. 10. The winner will be announced Dec. 12.

How to win?

You’ve already read how spunky and sassy these barbecue sauces are. So, tell me how you are spunky or sassy. Most memorable answer wins.

Here’s my own response to that question:

“A couple decades ago, I sported a very short Halle Berry-type cropped ‘do. Only mine also had this teeny-tiny length of hair in the back, the world’s skinniest ponytail, if you will. While the rest of my hair was maybe two inches long, I sported this skinny ‘tail’ more than twice as long in the back. A former hair stylist convinced me it was hip. And truth be told, I did feel rather uber cool with it. Years later, a new hair stylist finally convinced me to part with it. I admit I felt a little ‘naked’ after it was first chopped off. But of course, now I look back at photos when I still had it and think, mortifyingly: WHAT WAS I THINKING WITH THIS THING ON THE BACK OF MY HEAD?!”

More Home-Grown Bay Area BBQ Flavors: Ad Hoc’s Bacon BBQ Sauce and Sweet & Spicy BBQ Rub

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  • Well, we all go through phases where we think we’re too cool for school! Back in high school, I went platinum blonde and died my bangs hot pink, yes HOT PINK! Needless to say, my parents were less than thrilled but hey, I thought I was the coolest thing alive! 🙂

  • There are 2 things LA is known for: being expensive and providing a haven for artists, dreamers, lost souls, and eccentrics of all shapes and sizes. Having the latter down pat, Hollywood was the clear and only choice to call my new home. Upon arriving, I knew I needed to find a job asap, but being a musician doesn’t necessarily “bring home the bacon” steadily and when you do get a gig, its more like celery or saltines that you’re bringing home rather than crispy, fatty, oh so indulgent bacon. So naturally I decided to work as an extra and audience member for some extra cash, basically because I abhor the idea of having a “normal job.” Ok, now for the sassy part of the story. I was in the audience for “Lets Make A Deal,” hosted by Wayne Brady. They paid 8 an hour for you to dress up in a ridiculous costume and sit there and watch people make fools of themselves and contemplate suicide as they unluckily swapped their newly won car for a mule. Half of the audience was paid and half acquired tickets from a website, making them eligible to become contestants if Mr. Brady fancied their costume. I dressed as a milk maid and sat in the back, happy I would be receiving $48 for doing nothing. Then something unimaginable happened; Wayne Brady picked me to be the next contestant (can you say, “new bedroom set!”)! They cut to break and we both walked to the stage. As Wayne was explaining to me how things worked, one of the producer’s assistants came up to us and told us I was not allowed to be a contestant because I was working as an extra. I tried to bargain and say I would give back the extra money in exchange for a chance to play, but he unflinchingly shot me down. I angrily went back to my seat. They picked another participant and started rolling again. Still heated, I decided take my rage out via the camera. I proudly lifted my middle finger up and aimed it right to the camera. I didn’t think anyone would actually notice, since I was all the way in the back. As the contestant was about to start playing, the producer yelled “cut” and the cameras stopped rolling. Two large security guards then signaled for me to come with them. I was then escorted out and one of the producer’s assistants came up to me and told me, “You know the camera can see you. You can’t just give the bird on national television. This is a family show.” I told him some not so nice things and needless to say, I am now and forevermore banned and blacklisted from Lets Make A Deal (ironically, for trying to make a deal). I guess they couldn’t handle the sass from a spunky milkmaid.

  • A couple of years ago, I went on a trip with my boyfriend to NYC. While standing on a crowded subway, one particularly snooty woman turned to my boyfriend and accused him of grabbing her behind and loudly berrated him in open public. I (being male), obviously had to set her ‘straight.’ I turned to her, told her there was no way my man touched her and gave my BF a quick peck on the lips to show her how wrong she was in her accusation. Our stop was, thankfully, the next one. But before leaving, I was able to get in one last zinger right after stepping off the train. I turned to her and told her rather frankly, “Don’t flatter yourself” as the doors closed in front of us and the subway continued on its way, with one noticeably embarrassed passenger still standing dumbfounded and who would surely think twice next time she decided to cause a scene.

  • I wish we could get these here! It’s getting to be BBQ time! 😉

  • I like to think I’m spunky by wearing hot pink leggings on occasion!

    These sound like great sauces!

  • Sporting a vintage pink 2-piece skirt suit with huge shoulder pads on a gorgeous San Diego weekend with a sideways ponytail for a dare 🙂

  • I think other people think I’m spunky and sassy more than I do. I have a lot of metal piercing and used to dye my hair all sorts of colors. Now my hair is a bit more tame and It seems “normal” to me since I haven’t added any peircings in 12+ years. I was reminded most other people might not think it was when my 4 year old nephew asked me what my eyebrow piercings (referred to as those shiny things on my eyes) were for. When I told him decoration he said, “hmm, I think I like them. Yeah, they are pretty.”. It was so cute!

  • I love funky earrings. Not necessarily large, but funny or unique.

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