Castle Sauce Recipe

"Greensboro's Most Popular Sandwich Shop"

In fact the two are slightly different (to keep from being sued) Castle Sauces.
The cloned version Castle Sauce adds a bit of cayenne to spice it up.
So a few weeks ago I'm shopping at my local farmers' market and discover this sauce called Boar and Castle Sauce. I was completely unaware at the time the maddening addiction some displaced Greensborian's (I live near Greensboro, N.C.) have over the stuff, nor the controversy over the original recipe and the clone that popped up in its absence a few years ago. Now a days both versions are sold, but very few consumers notice (or know that there's) a difference. What's hilarious is everyone is making the whole castle recipe thing a big deal, as if it is some super complicated sauce created through complex methods. It's not.

Being a cook and a foody I became very curious by the whole matter. Usually in these cases we find the answers are far simpler than most people think, and in this case it's no different. The fact that they're selling 13,000 bottle of it a year really goes to show you how far simply keeping your mouth shut, and not sharing your secrets can make you rich (I share everything and remain poor).

The secret isn't really all that secret.
I'm absolutely astonished by the lengths some people have gone to, like this one individual online who went as far as to specially ordering a Indian Date plant called tamarind from Africa and grinding it down into an extract then combined it with twenty other ingredients. Not that I want to take anything away from any of these people, but you have to really ask yourself if a 1930's diner would accidentally come up a with a twenty-one ingredient recipe to serve on fast food burgers? The answer is no.

In fact what we have here is a common New England brown sauce. There's variations of course, and the most popular like A1, Heinz, or in the U.K.: HP Sauce are now commercialized legends, but many smaller lodges of the American bourgeoisie would concoct there own out of mustard, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.  What's interesting is that our blogger friend found out the ingredients the hard way,  and that if you compare the ingredients on the back of Boar and Castle Sauce, the one ingredient that put the puzzle together was the tamarind. However you don't need to travel to remote parts of the world to find this odd ingredient, it's actually in Lee and Perrins Worcestershire sauce (other brands of Worcestershire sauce do not contain this ingredient). The story becomes clearer once we realize that this casket aged sauce peaked in popularity during this time, and would have been common place in a restaurant like the Boar and Castle. It was also a common "experimental" ingredient in many kitchen's home-brew recipes.

Anchovies! That will scare some people!
So here's what happened. I've researched numerous sauces over the year (Big Mac, In & Out) and most were (when you get down to it) simply methods of delivering condiments quicker, or just a mix of table ingredients on hand. In this case, it was a simple mix of ketchup, mustard, and a bit of Lee & Perrin's Worcestershire. It's really that simple, and I must think that Leon Thomas, owner of the Boar and Castle in Greensboro must have laughed all the way to the bank when people asked for a bottle of it.

Later versions (since the 1980s) have included a bit of A1 and Tabasco, which they have explained a part of the changing taste-buds, but was likely a part of proprietary licensing. I prefer this version myself anyhow.

Castle Sauce Recipe

  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup 
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Lee & Perrin's Worcestershire Sauce.
  • 1/4 teaspoon A1  
  • 3 drops of Tabasco Brand hot sauce. 
  1. Stir with a spoon, doctor till your nostalgic heart is content and enjoy.
I'm telling you, it's quite good on a grilled cheese too. Case closed.

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