A Pub Sauce Worthy of Double Dipping
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A pub sauce, or proper pub gravy, is one of those recipes you NEED in your collection. Enjoy a large dollop on grilled beef burgers, filet of beef carpaccio, or reserve for dipping with a pile of well done steak fries, too. This is also chief among sauces for BBQs and sandwiches.
YES! This truly IS a pub sauce worthy of double dipping! And this is niece-tested at my house on a 9-year-old and a 3-year-old.
A handful of popular pantry items help to distinguish the flavor profile for this sauce, including brown sugar, Worcestershire, and soy sauce. Fresh chives and fresh garlic balance it all. Since mayonnaise is used as the base, the final product is thick enough to be spreadable on burger buns while remaining smooth enough to double as a great dipping sauce or a drizzle over carpaccio.
Pub Sauce keeps in the fridge, covered, for up to 2 weeks.
Pub Sauce is a proprietary component in my appetizer for Filet Of Beef Carpaccio With Capers and Olive Oil. It’s also pretty damn amazing on a roast beef sandwich. What can I say other than ‘it’s a beef thing.’
The first time I was served pub sauce was atop meatloaf in Bennington, Vermont, and it was clear then that this would forever be known as the pub sauce worthy of a double dip. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting to come out on the plate, channeling more of a ‘brown gravy and mashed potato’ sort of experience.
I was on vacation with a friend and we were skipping around from inn to inn, doing some skiing and off-roading in between evenings by roaring fireplaces, and sipping lessor known Brandy’s. It was a long weekend of nothing but traipsing from town to town with no particular path known.
We landed at a gorgeous inn on a particularly snowy day, a day in which for several hours, we were actually lost. And I mean lost lost. The Publyk House was one of the first signs of civilization we found as my friend steered his sport utility through a horizontal wet driving snowfall. This was in the days before cell phones…
Is all Pub Sauce created equal?
Um, no. No it is not. Any pub-style gravy or sauce I’d ever experienced was basically brown and Worcestershire-y tasting. Like steak sauce or a London-style pub sauce. This…this was magical. Tangy, sweet, zippy, savory…all of those wonderful things that “sing to beef and potatoes.”
Our meal was a standout among other places we’d experienced while on that trip. Not only because the fare was outstanding, but because we lived to tell about it! Little did I know then, that Chef’s pub sauce would be something I’d carry with me until today, when I’d be sharing it with YOU!
So, what’s up with Bennington Vermont?
If you’ve not visited the North country, you are missing out. Vermont is freedom, romance, wilderness, and excitement all kind of wrapped into one. Its winters are not to be taken lightly if you are not from there. Sure, you may have seen snow and maybe you’ve even lived through a Nor’easter and shoveled some. You haven’t seen ANYTHING until you’ve experienced a Vermont snowfall.
And lucky for us Bennington boasts the Publyk House. We were largely alone in a beautiful dining room near a hearth ablaze with light on a typical weeknight in February during a blizzard. Yep, just your everyday ‘now what do we do’ poor planning moment on our part. But still, something about that inn…that meal.
The composition of amazing, albeit some items unfamiliar, comfort food was so reassuring. And that sauce. Our server was also the owner we learned that evening. She was open with limited staff for anybody who could “get down the mountain” who might have lost power. And she had time on her hands because nobody was going anywhere on that night, not even to be able to make it to her inn.
My stumbling upon Pub Sauce in the midst of a Vermont Nor’easter was kismet. That’s what I am calling it anyway…
We struck up conversation and after our meals, moved our gathering of now five (having added the chef and a dishwasher) to the bar for full snifters and good chatter. It would be a long night, and also an informative one.
It was how I learned Chef’s invention of a cold beef and cheddar tavern sandwich, and a little known secret condiment that he used with that sandwich. The sandwich eventually fell off the menu, but the condiment was repurposed due to popularity, and surprise, made its appearance on my meatloaf that evening as a substitute when deliveries from food trucks could not get through due to the blizzard.
This folks is THE ‘special sauce…’
Fast forward to today, and the invention of the internet. Nothing is out of reach now. And, given my longing for cold nights and and comfort food at times, the recipe for pub sauce, modified slightly based on the chef’s mention that evening 30 years ago of the addition of Worcestershire.
Don’t ask me why or even how I remember the details of dinners and menus and experiences with people from so long ago; I guess I’ve always been heading in the direction of food blogging….dollop on grilled beef burgers, prime rib, or reserve for dipping with a pile of well done steak fries. You’ll have difficulty restraining from a double dip.
Do You Have What Is Needed To Whip Up Some Pub Sauce Worthy of Double Dipping? Check The List!
fresh garlic and/or hot sauce
How hard is it to make Pub Sauce?
Well, THIS EASY: whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. SERIOUSLY, what are you waiting for?
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ tablespoon minced chives
- ½ teaspoon minced garlic or 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce or both to taste
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Measure out all ingredients together into a bowl.
- Whisk until smooth.
- Dollop on grilled beef burgers, drizzle over prime rib, or reserve for dipping with a pile of well done steak fries.
that looks awesome and I can’t wait to try it. Modified a little for my allergies but I am sure it will be AWESOME 🙂
Jeremy, I can’t wait for you to try it! This is the epitome of umami if there ever was! Only because you will be modifying, start with 2 teaspoons of what you will be subbing the soy sauce/Worcestershire with – some substitutes have more salt, so add your modifications more slowly than what I’ve specified in the recipe so you won’t over-salt.
What do you recommend for the garlic +hot sauce. Earlier you mentioned a garlic hot sauce. This sounds delish and I’m making tomorrow
Heather, this Pub Sauce IS DELISH, and I am tickled you will try it! I just read back through the method because I could not for the life of me figure out what you read by way of “garlic hot sauce.” I’m very glad you brought it to my attention, as it is meant to read (and I have placed the ‘and/or’ back in there!) ‘fresh garlic and/or hot sauce.’ So here is what I do…I grate a large raw garlic clove on a microplane into a small bowl. Then, I grab any fave hot sauce and add equal parts, so say a teaspoon to 2 teaspoons. Mix them into a paste. Then assemble the Pub Sauce according to the recipe card. My recommendation is to assemble then chill for 30 minutes before tasting for additional seasoning or hot sauce. It’s not meant to be ‘hot’ per se, but it does need to suit you/your eaters, so season it as you wish. My fave way to enjoy this sauce is on roast beef sandwiches, over hot steak fries, or when I make my beef carpaccio. OMG. Let me know how you get on and enjoy the sauce! x – Jenny