by Eric Wharton
My Recipe Book, constantly being added to
Any sauce whatsoever should be smooth, light (without being liquid), glossy to the eye, and decided in taste. When these conditions are fulfilled, it is always easy to digest, even for tired stomachs.
— Auguste Escoffier, French chef and culinary writer
Jezebel Sauce is a regional favorite of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, whose residents claim they invented it. However, many southern states claim to have been its originator as well. The truth is that no one really knows for certain where it came from or how it got its name, though supposedly its sweet, spicy, and wickedly tangy nature caused it to be named after the Biblical temptress, Jezebel. One thing is certain, though … it's a southern thing.
There are many recipe variations, but for a true Jezebel sauce the four basic ingredients never change: pineapple preserves, apple jelly, horseradish, and dry mustard. Some add an equal portion of apricot jelly as the apple jelly. Other variations include hot sauce, hot pepper jelly, mild Chile peppers, or even jalapeño peppers. Minced ginger is another possible flavor variation.
There are also variations in the amounts of each ingredient, so it's great for experimentation in order to get the perfect taste for individual pallets.
It became a favorite in the 1940s and 1950s and is incredibly versatile. It can be incorporated into any number of dishes, such as:
• a condiment on ham, pepperoni, or cheese slices
• served over a block of cream cheese, with crackers
• a topping on a burgers or hot dogs
• a jam substitute on a biscuit with a slice of country ham
• a grilling sauce for pork ribs, pork chops, pork tenderloin, or chicken
• a dipping sauce for fried seafood, chicken nuggets, or egg rolls
• a glaze or spooned over any cut of ham, pork, beef, or chicken
• an addition to steamed vegetables
1 cup (8-oz jar) pineapple preserves
1 cup (8-oz jar) apple jelly
2 tbsp ground dry mustard
1 tbsp prepared horseradish
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
In a bowl, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Spoon into a container and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. The sauce will last if stored properly for 2 to 3 weeks.
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