Bring the sauce!

Variety is the spice of life and that is why Liana Reiners likes to always have a few sauces on hand when meals are served. It’s the fastest and easiest way to liven up any dish. Precisely for that reason, she believes you should have a few simple sauce recipes in your cooking arsenal.

I’ve never understood how people can get excited about cooking. Both of my grandmothers would turn in their graves when they heard me say this, but I only cook to keep the family alive by feeding them regulary-ish! Of course, there are a few dishes that I have a pretty good grasp of and that I can whip up when we are entertaining, but generally I prefer things simple and easy. So, all my fancy recipe books are sitting on the shelf gathering dust.

Fortunately, I am blessed with a husband who loves cooking and is always trying out new recipes. And believe me, he knows his stuff! I tend to always fall back on the good old meat, rice, potatoes and vegetables and if the food is a bit boring and tasteless, I spice it up with a sauce.

The purists out there would argue that you shouldn’t spoil a good piece of meat with a sauce and my husband has also rolled his eyes many times when I douse one of his delicious curries with chutney. But it is what it is… besides, isn’t life dry enough already? What could be better than a fragrant sauce over a fried t-bone? Or fried chicken and a scoop of rice floating in your grandmother’s family recipe sauce? And how about a fresh meat pie with handcut potato chips and a decent slathering of traditional gravy?

Sauce simply makes everything better and can liven up even the simplest of dishes. Yes, there are a multitude of ready-made sauces and sauce powders available on the store shelves, but there are also quite a few quick, easy and delicious sauces that you can make yourself in no time.

Comeback sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup mayonnaise

¼ cup tomato sauce

¼ cup chilli sauce of your choice

1 teaspoon mustard

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons Worchestershire sauce

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

¼ teaspoon Tabasco

¼ cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

Method:

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Spoon into suitable plastic containers or glass bottles with lids and place in fridge. Leave to stand for at least three hours before using. The sauce can be kept in the fridge for roughly a month.

Yummy pepper sauce

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 cup cream

1 tablespoon mustard

1 table spoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tot brandy

1 tablespoon cake flour

Method:

Prepare the sauce in the same pan used to fry your steak. If the meat is going on the braai, cut a small piece off and fry with butter or margarine in the pan you will be using to make the sauce. Add pepper, mustard and brandy and let it simmer on medium heat for three minutes. Mix cake flour into the cream and add to the mixture in the pan. Let it simmer for another minute or two and pour over meat.

Monkey gland sauce

Ingredients:

50ml sunflower oil

375ml finely chopped onion

1 clove of fresh garlic, crushed

1 small sweet red pepper, chopped into small pieces

250ml boiling water

25ml Worchestershire sauce

25ml brown vinegar

25ml brown sugar

2ml salt

Pinch of chilli powder or cayenne pepper

250ml tomato sauce

50ml fruit chutney

Method:

Fry the onion in the oil until translucent. Add garlic and sweet pepper and stir continuously while frying for another minute. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce is the same consistency as chutney. Stir regularly. Additional seasoning can be added to taste. Place in a suitable container and serve, or store in the fridge.

Sweet mustard sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup vinegar

2 tablespoons mustard powder

1 tin condensed milk

Method:

Mix all three ingredients together and you’re done! Place the sauce in a suitable container and store in the fridge.

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