Today we’re checking out C’est Bon Cajun-Q from Cajun Heat. For those short on their French, c’est bon means “It’s Good”, and the rest of it leads you down the path to guessing this as a BBQ sauce with some Cajun influences. For all the international exotic feel you get from the title, your eyes quickly notice animated pigs on the bottle, and depending where your eyes go first, you’ll either see two pigs standing next to a BBQ pit, one tending the fire, and one ready with a bucket for something, or you’ll catch a separate set of pigs in a less grocer shelf friendly situation, in which one pig is blind folded and laid out across a cinder block, with the other pig looming menacingly above him with an axe ready to serve the role as executioner, full head hood mask and all. I think I now know what the bucket is for.
The mix for this sauce is a blend of Tomato Sauce, Ketchup, Vinegar, Brown Sugar, Yellow Mustard, Cajun Spices, Liquid Smoke, Salt and Brown Mustard. The general aroma of the mix is sweetened vinegar, mustard and a hint of the aroma from the ketchup, with some spices in the background. Seeing that ketchup, mustard and the vinegar all contain varying amounts of vinegar and acidity levels, this should work quite well as a marinade as well, as all that vinegar should break down the protein nicely, and if smoked at a low enough heat, should allow the sugars to carmelize without charring too badly.
The mix pours smoothly, but once it thins out on the plate, it has a suitable amount of cling to indicate that it would mop well. The double dose of mustard in the mix, the blend of sugar and vinegar far up the list and the animated pigs across the front of the bottle leads me to believe they specifically geared this towards being slathered on pork, so in the spirit of the beheaded pig, I’ve smoked up some pork ribs to give this a test run, and we’ll see how this tastes on some pig parts.
The spice level on this is immediately a Mild and doesn’t have much of a peak to it, while the main flavor components are a light sweetness that plays up the sweetness in the pork and has tart bites of mustard followed with a light black pepper punch from time to time. The liquid smoke isn’t overbearing on this, which is a big benefit, considering that it would likely be used to smoke with already, but gives you the option to use it as a grill sauce instead as well if you didn’t have a smoker at home. Overall, I’d have to agree with the French claim this it is a good sauce, and I’ll have to give it a strong Nice rating.
With all the strong vinegar bite and the sweetness, you’re likely going to want to marinade this in a zip sealed bag with just a bit of the sauce to allow the vinegar to permeate the flesh without having too much sugar to accumulate on the outside and then slow smoke these, and then mop it heavy in the last 45 minutes or so once you’ve got a good smoke bark on the meat to get some carmelization and extra sweetness.