Perhaps the most unfortunately-named recipe on the planet (Spotted Dick being a close runner-up), this is actually a very delicious steak sauce that includes zero monkey and 100% awesome in its culinary DNA.The tangy sauce includes chopped onion, garlic and ginger, with a combination of chutney, soy sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and wine. It is typically served in South Africa with meats such as steak, hamburgers, pork ribs or chicken.
A probably apocryphal story on the origin of the name goes like this: In the 1950’s the Carlton Hotel in Johannesburg hired some classically trained French chefs for their dining room to cook for their rich and less-than-discerning clientele.
The customers apparently weren’t fond of the steak dishes served with the usual Continental sauces, so eventually in frustration the chefs threw together whatever commercial condiments they had on hand, and presented the resulting sweet & sour sauce to the customers. They came up with the unusual name because at the time the sauce was developed, there was a lot of speculation in the popular medical press regarding the use of monkey glands as a means of keeping young.
Of course, it turned out to be a hit – the diners were happy, the chefs thought it all a great joke, and the rest became culinary history.
The sauce is quite tasty and well worth trying, Citizens – this is my version. It includes most of the classic ingredients and adds some smoked paprika to give it a nice smoky edge that the original typically lacks. You can leave the smoked paprika out if you want a classic sauce instead of my tweaked version.
Battle on – The Generalisssimo
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped and crushed
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
3 tablespoons salted butter
½ cup Major Grey’s-style chutney
½ cup tomato puree
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons ketchup
5 tablespoons port wine
1 teaspoon Tabasco or more to taste
1/3 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
2 tablespoons red wine
2 teaspoons sweet or hot smoked paprika, according to your taste preference – buy it from Amazon here
Optional: brown sugar, salt and black pepper
Fry the onions, garlic and ginger in the butter until the onions are translucent.
Add the rest of the ingredients and let cook over fairly high heat for about 7 – 10 minutes, stirring often.
Taste for seasoning to your preference: you might want to add ½ teaspoon brown sugar, salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Can be served hot or cold with any roasted or grilled beef.
The sauce will last 2 weeks in the fridge and can be frozen