2 large Vidalia or Spanish onions
4-5 cloves garlic
2 sticks butter
1/4 cup olive or peanut oil
1 16 oz. can Italian style plum tomatoes
1 cup medium salsa
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons red wine or tarragon vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup honey or molasses
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dry oregano (use 1 T. if fresh herb)
1/2 teaspoon Portuguese allspice
2 jiggers Jack Daniel's Whiskey or dark rum
salt and pepper, to taste
cayenne and Tabasco, to taste
Coarsely chop the onion and garlic. Add oil to a heavy bottom (preferably cast iron) skillet with butter and melt over medium heat (do not allow butter to brown).
When hot, add onion and garlic and stir until they take on a little golden color (do not brown) for about 4-5 minutes.Stir in tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 45 minutes (over low heat), with just the occasional bubble.
When it has reached desired consistency (should not be cooked for more than an hour or so), allow to cool for about 20 minutes, then pulse it in a blender or Vitamix. Don't overprocess - leave it somewhat chunky. Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in brandy or rum.
Cover and store in refrigerator (canning jars work well) for 2-3 days before using; can be made up to 7 days in advance.