South African Monkey Gland Sauce Recipe

South African Monkey Gland Sauce Recipe
South Africa was in the spotlight in 2010 when they hosted the World Cup. Everyone seemed to be interested in the local South African cuisine. One of their most interesting dishes is Monkey Gland Sauce, which is available in every South African steakhouse and also at fast food restaurants with hamburgers (I’m told there are even fast food restaurants specializing in Monkey Gland Burgers). Braai, which is the name South Africans use for barbecue, comes from the Afrikaans word braaivleisv (pronounced braɪfleɪs), meaning roasted meat. Braai (plural braaie) is very popular in South Africa, and Monkey Gland Sauce is a must-have condiment at any respectable braai . The word braai is used both as a noun or a verb, so when you decide to braai, you can invite your family and friends to your braai or your Bring & Braai (which is similar to a potluck)!
Monkey Gland Sauce does not contain any monkey or any glands. The sauce is a mixture of condiments such as ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, wine, vinegar, and always fruit chutney which is also very popular in South Africa. The brand of choice is Mrs. H.S. Balls Hot Chutney, but it is difficult to find outside of Europe, so other brands can be used; make sure the fruits in the chutney are finely chopped when adding to the sauce. If the chutney you are using is mild, add a jalapeno to the sauce, since a proper Monkey Gland Sauce should have a bit of a kick.

No one is exactly sure how Monkey Gland Sauce got its name, but it is widely thought that it was named for shock value. One plausible theory is that a chef at one of the fanciest hotels on the Cape in the 50’s, was feeding a large group of foreigners who had been staying at the hotel for several days; they were extremely high maintenance and he was tired. The chef was so sick of trying to please them, that he threw everything together he had in the kitchen, served it over steaks, and called it Monkey Gland Sauce, hoping they would go home. Apparently they loved it and the popularity of the sauce spread. Another not-so-fun theory is that it was first served in a bottle shaped like a monkey.

This sauce is sure to be a hit at your next backyard barbecue (or braai). I like it best on hamburgers and steak, but have found it is also delicious on grilled chicken, which is probably against South African rules, but I’m so far away, they’ll never know. Let others know what you like it best on in the Quick Cooking Forum.

Makes about 3 cups

1/4 cup dehydrated onion flakes
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons port wine, (optional)
1 cup hot chutney, (preferably Mrs. H.S. Balls)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco pepper sauce

  1. Mix all ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often.
  2. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes, or until thickened.
  3. Cool and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, or freeze for longer storage.

Amount Per Serving
Calories 55 Calories from Fat 1
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 2% Protein 3% Carb. 96%

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 162 mg
Total Carbohydrate 13 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 0 g
Protein 0 g

Vitamin A 5% Vitamin C 9% Calcium 0% Iron 2%

Mrs. H.S. Ball’s Chutney can be purchased from Amazon:

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