Old Savannah/Florida style sauces

Double Chili Cheeseburger
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2008/09/02 03:22:18 (permalink)

Old Savannah/Florida style sauces

When I was a kid in the late 50's and 60's, my parents used to drag me around to BBQ joints up and down the coast of Fl from Martin county down to the upper Key's of Fl. With one exception being the original Shorty's run by the Allen family, all BBQ was served with an orange colored sauce that was kept warm in hot baths. The taste had a hint of Heinz 57 that was common to all of them. After years of trying almost every imaginable sauce recipe, the one that was the closest to what I remember was a recipe that claimed to be the original Johnny Harris recipe extracted from a drunk cook by some reporters billed as a "Savannah Style" sauce. I don't know if that't true, but the taste was very similar, but used butter and something was lacking in the taste. I substituted pork drippings because of the fat ring that I remembered in bottles that my mom used to rip off after they sat in the fridge overnight and have tweaked the ingredients closer to what I remembered. The pork fat afforded a better texture then butter, bacon or beef fat took the taste in a wrong direction. The "tail" that seemed to be missing was filled in by first lemon juice and later a rhine that I added to the sauce which tasted better. So far, that's my sauce based on my memory. It's a basic mustard and catsup sauce with worcestershire,sugar,chili powder,garlic,vinegar,black pepper, and a few other ingredients. This taste disappeared in the 70's after poulution control laws restricted open pit operations and most of the old restaurants closed down during the early 70's. That "taste" is long gone in history in these parts. Does anyone recognize the taste? Examples would have been the original BBQ Barn,New Hickory,Old Hickory,Flynn's Dixie Ribs if you lived in Greater Miami. I've been tinkering around with this sauce for about 12 years and there has to be someone that might have some input on this sauce or at least remembers the variations that were common back then. This is not the taste of the GA style catsup/tomato sauces but had a lot more yellow mustard. Spicing must have been very primary because I don't remember much in the way of flavors outside of a Heinz 57 taste. Maybe more pepper,mustard,vinegar,or some other heat defined the variations, but they wern't much different and didn't have a complex spice pallet. This taste was very common back when, yet all of the regional recipes appear to miss it. There are no Key limes and some of the wierd orange and grapefruit recipes that you find in the books for a FL sauce. Any thoughts,rememberences, or hints what these sauces were?

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    RE: Old Savannah/Florida style sauces 2008/09/02 04:30:29 (permalink)
    Does this help at all?

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    RE: Old Savannah/Florida style sauces 2008/09/02 08:26:53 (permalink)
    Does this sound like what you're looking for if you replaced the butter with pork fat? You could leave the salt out also and use salt pork.


    6 c. (42 oz.) catsup
    6 c. vinegar
    2/3 c. dry mustard
    3/4 c. sugar
    1/4 lb. butter
    1/4 c. hot pepper
    Vinegar or Tabasco
    6 tbsp. black pepper
    6 tbsp. salt
    1 bottle Worcestershire sauce

    Mix all ingredients together except vinegar and mustard. Beat mustard and vinegar together with an egg beater to a smooth paste and add. Simmer 30 minutes.
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Old Savannah/Florida style sauces 2008/09/02 16:51:06 (permalink)
    check the grocery for the Henry Roberts brand outta Jax, Fl.
    The flavor is similar to Johnny Harris.
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    RE: Old Savannah/Florida style sauces 2008/09/02 17:37:29 (permalink)
    Here is another version of Johnny Harris Sauce.

    Juice of 2 lemons
    4 bottles Ketchup
    1/4 c. Salt
    1/4 lb. Margarine
    3/4 c. Sugar
    1/4 c. Pepper Vinegar
    1 Bottle Lee & Perrin
    3 Ketchup bottles full of vinegar
    1 small box black pepper

    Mix and boil just long enough to melt ingredients together.
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