Growing up in Tulsa, Terence Ransom loved to spend afternoons in the kitchen with his mother and grandmother making cookies. Then, as a 7-year-old, he decided that he wanted to do something different. He wanted to make homemade Chicago-style pizza.
“I always enjoyed cooking, hanging out with my mother and grandmother in the kitchen. What made this experience most enjoyable was the opportunity to put a smile on their faces when I created a dish,” Ransom said.
When Ransom started making pizza, he had no idea that in 2020 he would create a sauce that could not only be used on pizza but could also be used to marinade meat and make dressings for salads.
While he was a student at Langston University, Ransom developed the discipline, creativity and imagination to begin his career in architectural/industrial technical design. Beginning in August 2020, Ransom, who now lives in Yukon, used these same qualities to create two flavors of barbecue sauce.
“In spite of opening a business in the midst of COVID-19, I utilized the core values I have used all of my life,” Ransom said. “First, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Second, being compassionate and caring to others opens doors to opportunity. Finally, presenting yourself in a respectful manner makes a memorable impression on customers, buyers and the world.”
While the past few years haven’t afforded Ransom with a lot of public taste testing opportunities, he was still able to develop a customer base. Ransom said with a laugh that anyone that loves food is his customer. The two flavors of his Ransom’s BBQ Sauce, regular and spicy, are now in 20 stores.
While many cities want to take credit for producing the best barbecue sauce, they are all unique. Many Texans use a tomato-based sauce, parts of Carolina do not use tomatoes at all, Alabama has a mayonnaise-based sauce and South Carolina has some mustard added. Without sharing the exact recipe of Ransom’s BBQ Sauce, it is fair to say that there are tomatoes and vinegar in it.
With so many versions of barbecue sauce, March was eventually named National Sauce Month.
Ransom was right on board with sauces being celebrated in spring.
“This is the best time to honor the different recipes. The school year will be ending soon, families are pulling out the grills preparing for religious holidays and before you know it, summer is here. Everyone wants a sauce. Hopefully, mine,” Ransom said.
Creating a great barbecue sauce takes more than combining herbs and spices, Ransom said. As people approached his booth recently at the Oklahoma City Farmer’s Market, it was apparent that the recipes are filled with love and thoughtfulness.
“What makes the sauce special are the natural ingredients in each jar. There are no preservatives, no corn syrup and no high fructose,” Ransom said. “In today’s world, that is a rarity.”
“The greatest joy in manufacturing my product was being able to embrace the process and being mentored by experts in the agriculture and business community. Knowing that I had the support of my wife, and my family made all the difference in the world. For that I am eternally grateful,” Ransom added.
Ransom’s BBQ Chiladas
•2 pounds meat or meat alternative
•1 18 oz. bottle Ransom’s BBQ Sauce (either flavor)
•1/2 cup of water
•3 garlic cloves chopped
1/4 cup Cilantro Onion Infused Olive Oil (theolitree.com)
•16 oz. Cacique Cotija Part Skim Milk Cheese
•8 ounces shredded cheese (any flavor)
•1 25 ounce package of soft corn tortillas (30 count)
•1 tsp of garlic powder (optional)
•1 tsp onion powder (optional)
Chopped cilantro for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 F. Add olive oil and garlic to large skillet and cook on low heat until tender.
Add meat and powders to the skillet and cook until desired doneness.
Stir in Ransom’s BBQ Sauce and water, then let simmer for about 10 minutes.
Pour a thin layer of the cooked sauce on the bottom of the 9×14-inch casserole dish.
Add a stack of corn tortillas to a plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave them for 60 seconds or so to soften.
Add the desired amount of meat and shredded cheese to each tortilla, then roll up the tortilla and place into the casserole dish, seam side down.
Take the remaining sauce and spread evenly over top of rolled tortillas in the dish. Top with Cacique Cotija cheese. Cook at 350 F for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly.