It sounds like an oxymoron at first, but you find out soon after that there is nothing black nor swampish about these products. Black Swamp Gourmet seems to put out some pretty good products with excellent versatility. Granted I have only tried the meat rub and hot barbeque sauce, but I think it’s a winning combo.
Spicy Rub for Pork, Chicken or Beef Ingredients: Brown sugar, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dry mustard, cumin, ground habanero and cornstarch.
I’m going to start with the rub because I think this one is basic, but hits the right points. I like tasting rubs before I put them on anything. This rub first hits as sweet, but finishes with pepper. In between there is subtle notes of garlic and onion. To be honest, I can’t taste the cumin or mustard very much, but I don’t mind that at all. It also contains coarsely ground salt, which I happen to love in spice mixes/rubs for meat. In the world of seasoning meat, I believe the more basic the better. While I think this rub waxes a bit sweet, it has a nice balance of salt and pepper with a tiny kick added in. I am including the following closeup of the mix to show you the consistency in detail. Again, you can see the coarsely ground salt and other various spices.
Going back to the sweetness, the brown sugar doesn’t turn me off so much that it takes my opinion of this down much. I just think this rub could stand on its own without the brown sugar. That said, there are certain meats where this would actually be an asset, such as pork or fish. Admittedly, I have only tried this on beef. But I’m keeping the little amount I have of it close at hand because I think it’s very good, very flavorful, balanced, not blazing hot (anyone’s palate could handle this) and versatile.
Hot Sweet & Spicy Barbeque Sauce Ingredients: Tomato ketchup (tomato concentrate made from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder, natural flavoring), brown sugar, apple cider vinegar (diluted with water to 4% acidity), mustard (distilled vinegar, water, #1 grade mustard seed, salt, turmeric, paprika, spice, natural flavor & garlic powder), habanero peppers, granulated garlic onion powder, salt, xanthan gum.
We tried the barbeque sauce originally on steak and I have to say I’m not a huge fan of barbeque sauce on steak. I spent 11 years in Austin, Texas and had way too many steaks ruined by barbeque sauce. Then again, sauce saved quite a few as well. I had to let that go for this night and just judge it for what it was. The steak was seasoned with the rub and grilled.
After most of the cooking was done, the sauce was used as a glaze. I have to say, I really liked it, despite my reticence. I actually added more sauce, which added more heat as well. Unlike the rub, the hot barbeque sauce is definitely hot. Based on that, I’m not sure I could handle much of the fiery, but I’m sure some other chile heads with a higher tolerance would enjoy it very much. This seemed to be the right heat level for me. It wasn’t so mild that I didn’t catch the heat and wasn’t so hot that I would refuse to use it again. I will add that the habanero gives it a nice flavor. Very typical habanero flavor of the pepper coming through nicely. Here is the finished product.
Since then, I have used this on chicken, sausage and a roast beef sandwich. This barbeque sauce is sweet so I think it is more suited to these dishes. I also see, because of the sugar content and general texture, this being used as a salad dressing. I will use it for that next. I’m sure you’re wondering why I would put a barbeque sauce on a salad. However, I will say that there’s not a typical smoky flavor to this sauce so it really holds its own as a barbeque sauce and a sauce by many other names. Again, another product with versatility, which is always nice. I can see this one disappearing from the fridge soon. This is one product in which I LOVE the brown sugar.
To wrap this up, I’m showing you our second steak application using the rub. For those of you scoring at home, this is filet. Now, I don’t put anything on filet that I know will fail. So, that gives you an idea of how I rate this rub.
The beautiful finished product, done medium rare. Melted in our mouths and was beautifully spiced using only this. I would prefer it be a little less sweet (not to beat a dead horse), but it certainly wouldn’t dissuade me from using it on filet again. Yummy!
While Black Swamp Gourmet doesn’t carry many products at this time, what they do have is well worth checking out. Black Swamp Gourmet recipe page has some great ideas (the meatballs and stuffed peppers look really good) and after looking at that, I thought the Hot Sweet & Spicy Barbeque Sauce would make an excellent meatloaf sauce.