Intro to Restaurant Secret Sauces
Back in the day Mom would make up a sauce jar for picnics or camping; some mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard with pickle relish all stirred together. That’s what you got on your burger, and it worked for all of us. Substitute barbecue sauce for the ketchup and you have a variation of a campfire sauce. Reduce the amount of mustard and you are right there with a version of Thousand Island dressing.
Some restaurants will take that approach and sauce their burgers or Reuben with actual Thousand Island. It works but isn’t especially distinctive, especially because Russian dressing is considered the classic sauce.
Russian dressing is a chili sauce base with horseradish, Worcestershire and seasonings to make it savory. Those are very tasty components to bring into the flavor profile. The texture stays slightly coarse and everything in it pushes to a high acid content. As a general sauce the balance could be better. That’s where a mayonnaise base comes into play. It offers good background flavor and very nice texture to the sauce while binding everything together for sturdiness and shelf life without separation. Those aren’t always concerns in the home kitchen, unless you want to make a batch to have on hand for a number of occasions over time.
Your sauce can also be made in a healthier variation. Right on the store shelves today are mayonnaise choices that use olive oil or other healthier oils. It’s no problem finding ketchup that does not have any sugar or corn syrup added to it. Our recipe calls for sweet hot mustard, although a honey mustard is also an option. All of these variations will have little impact on your end result, but will at least make this component of your dish a somewhat healthier addition.
Free to Do It Your Way
Similar to almost all sauce or dressing items, it is much more cost effective to do it yourself. You also get a chance to put an individual flair to the end result. One fun aspect of the home kitchen is that you can evolve your recipes more than in a commercial kitchen. In the business you need to duplicate an item as close as possible every single time you make it, so that your guests get the same experience. Cue the McDonald brothers and their production line approach to successfully making consistent burgers.
This particular sauce recipe has served very well as a burger sauce, Reuben sauce, and general sandwich sauce. It has also performed admirably as a dipping sauce for French fries, tater tots, onion rings, and chicken strips or battered fish, or just about any crispy appetizer or side item. As a result of it being used in so many fashions it became labeled as ‘The Sauce’ in the recipe book and on the prep list of to do items. Like many effective recipes, this one is very simple, just four ingredients whisked together.
Secret Sandwich Sauce Recipe
In a mixing bowl combine until well blended:
- 1-1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 cup catsup
- 1/4 cup sweet hot mustard
- 1-1/2 teaspoons dill weed