Pairing Meat and Sauces

Tradition and great food often go hand in hand. When it comes to pairing the right sauce with the right cut of meat, there can be much friendly debate stemming from family history, chef know-how, and of course, tradition.

For many Americans, roast turkey and cranberry sauce, lemon pepper and chicken, for example, are some of the automatic pairings we associate with certain dishes.

Meat has often been the foundation for many evening dinners, often served with a side of vegetables, sauces, jellies, preserves or salsas and chutneys serving as the building blocks to that foundation. Ranging from classic sauces to those inspired by, or made worldwide, we explore the world of meat and sauce pairings from conventional to modern and even unconventional.

Beef

Traditional Beef Sauce Pairings

Steak Sauce- We can't talk about traditional beef and sauce pairings without mentioning steak sauce. No matter what cut, style or type of steak, pairing it with the right savory or sweet steak sauce can bring out flavors in your steak you may have never noticed nor imagined.

Our Savory Sirloin Steak sauce has hints of smokiness, a touch of sweet with a hint of tart along with a rich caramelized garlic overlay and can be paired not just with steak but can be a fantastic addition to other meats.

Mesquite Sauce– Add the rich taste of the Southwest to the next piece of beef on your grill. Or, if you're missing the days of BBQ weather, using an excellent mesquite sauce will add that hint of mesquite wood slow smokiness that adds so much flavor to the grill. Mesquite is a lighter, sweeter flavoring than hickory yet adds a delectable punch of flavor.

Unconventional Beef Sauce Pairings

Fruit – The strong, earthy taste of beef works well surprisingly with sweeter fruits. Fruit sauces that surprisingly work well with beef such as steak and even burgers:

  • Cherry Balsamic Grilling Sauce
  • Peach Grilling Sauce or Peach Chipotle Sauce
  • Vidalia Onion and Peach Hot Sauce
  • Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

Chicken

Traditional Chicken Sauce Pairings

Citrus truly shines when it comes to amazing sauce pairings and chicken. Lemon and herb, or orange, for example, tenderize and make the chicken extra juicy.

BBQ – When it comes to the backyard grill, nothing says traditional and flavor-enhancing quite like the addition of great BBQ sauce.

Buffalo Sauce – Tried and true American favorite for wings, dips, and buffalo chicken dip.

Asian-Inspired – Asian-inspired and Asian sauces have long paired beautifully with both chicken breasts, thighs, and especially wings. The Shanghai Tangerine Honey Marinade works wonders for adding to chicken and fish too, and not just as a marinade. It's a delightful dipping sauce for wings, spring rolls, or added to breaded and fried chicken strips. Don't forget the sweet and sour tangy goodness of Teriyaki sauce.

Sweet and Spicy: For that sweet heat, try the Spicy Asian Honey Marinade, or the Thai Ginger Sauce.

Unconventional Chicken Sauce Pairing

Speaking of citrus, lime is a fabulous tenderizer or flavor additive. To bring a little spice, a bit of tang and the summery feel, add a bit of our Key Lime Margarita Hot Sauce to any grilled chicken wing or grilled chicken for a flavorful burst.

Pork

Traditional Pork Sauce Pairings

Fruit – Fruit sauces and pulled pork, or pork chops or even pork roast have long been married together to create a memorable meal. Pork chops with apples, for instance, have been a classic go-to for many home meals so adding some Cinnamon Apple Barbeque Sauce or add it to pulled pork for an unforgettable sandwich. And like chicken as well as beef, pork goes very well with Cherry Balsamic Sauce.

Honey Dijon Marinade is also another popular pork tenderloin marinade as it's healthy, easy to use and is the perfect way to create mouth-watering, juicy pork tenderloin every time.

Unconventional Pork Sauce Pairings

Spicy Fruit Flavors – You can go with spicy, using Orange Chipotle Sauce, Vidalia Onion and Peach Hot Sauce, or go sweet with ripe Southern Peach sauce and finally, savory with a burst of rich Sun-Dried Tomato Marinade.

Seafood

Traditional Seafood Sauce Pairings

There's nothing quite like a fresh, well-made cocktail sauce. Wholey's Cocktail Sauce is a pop of bright horseradish, lemon, and tomato. This sauce is ideal with seafood favorites such as shrimp, fried clams, oysters, crab, and even lobster.

Creamy – There's the classic tartar sauce and for crab cakes especially, Creamy Cucumber Crab Cake Sauce. A dash of tartness with the cool, refreshing taste of fresh cucumbers can take your crab cakes to an elevated delectable state. This sauce is also extremely versatile that it can be used with virtually any other seafood should you wish.

Unconventional Seafood Sauce Pairings

We can't ignore the multifaceted lusciousness of fruit sauces with fish. While lemon and lime may spring to mind immediately, don't discount other fruits. Southern Peach for a sweet tanginess, Roasted Raspberry Chipotle and Fiery Apricot Basting for those that love a little eye-watering heat and classic Teriyaki Sauce, for instance, are all alternatives for seafood such as salmon, cod, and halibut.

Lamb

Traditional Lamb Sauce Pairings

Lamb being flavored with, simmered in, or drizzled with mint has been an age-old tradition from both British, Irish and Tunisia cuisine. An even easier means to create a sweet, fresh mint saturated sauce for lamb is to use Mint Jelly with Leaves for quick but utterly delectable.

When it comes to your next meal and what sauce you might pair, we hope this appetizing article can help guide you to quick, delicious dinners.