This is the basic Wikipedia definition of Comeback sauce: a distinctive dipping sauce and salad dressing often seen in the cuisine of central Mississippi. Similar to Louisiana remoulade, the base of the sauce consists of mayonnaise and chili sauce.
Well, lands Almighty, that’s not quite right.
Now comeback is one of the quintessential Deep South sauces. Much like the definition above it does have similarities to remoulade but it also harkens to a familiarity with Thousand Island dressing. But in my humble opinion the best comeback sauce has one requirement that the other two sauces do not: Worcestershire. Without this touch of the old country, comeback sauce loses some of its traditional flavor and uniqueness.
There are recipes all over the Internet for comeback sauce. Many agree with Wikipedia and have a chili sauce component that makes it redish, but what you need for true comeback sauce is a good quality mayo and ketchup. That’s the base of the sauce. Then you add in minute quantities of Worcestershire, garlic, onion, and cracked pepper. Oh, the cracked pepper is so important to get the proper texture and flavor that is the unique central Oxford, Mississippi style comeback sauce.
Now the good thing about comeback sauce is you can make it in a myriad of ways and styles. There’s the epicurean way where you make your own homemade mayonnaise in the French Method along with heirloom tomato ketchup bottled by monks in Spain. Then there’s the Martha Stewart/ Junior League variety where where quality ingredients like Duke’s Mayo and hand crushed peppercorns are involved. Then there’s my way where you can pick your stuff up at the local Kroger. Or perhaps you’re in a bit of a pickle, like Grandma Agnes is coming for a visit and Bubba-Jo ate the last of the comeback sauce with his tater tots and you need to make a dash to the Dollar General. Either way you choose your comeback sauce will turn out perfectly if you follow these basic directions and proportions.
- Equal parts mayo and ketchup
- Equal parts Worcestershire and black pepper
- Equal parts garlic and onion powder
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until the spices are is thoroughly incorporated and the sauce is all one color.
I’d do it like this: 1/2 cup mayo and ketchup, 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire and black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic and onion powders
Now I always like to tinker with recipes but like my great aunt Ida always said, simple made well is a classic in the making. But sometimes you just have to take the pig to the county fair.
Lisa’s Roasted Garlic and Green Onion Comeback Sauce
1/2 cup mayo and ketchup
2 teaspoons of Worcestershire and freshly cracked tricolor peppercorns
1/8 cup of mashed roasted garlic and finely chopped green onion
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly incorporated and the sauce is all one color.
Now when that flavor combo hits your mouth you’ll swear you have been transported to a picnic underneath the Oaks at Faulkner’s place!