As a soup-stained Vincent van Gogh painting at London’s National Gallery can attest, many people are not pleased with the rate at which the world is heating up.
At Shake Shack, which rolled out burgers, chicken sandwiches, and fries topped with a new Spicy ShackSauce made with ingredients used in First We Feast’s viral YouTube series Hot One’s last month, the sharp increase in temperature is much more welcome.
Far from the Shack’s first foray into the sphere of spice, the Hot Ones-inspired menu was created in tandem with series host Sean Evans and sauces he procures from Brooklyn-based hot sauce purveyor Heatonist. Of all the Scoville-packed items available at Heatonist, Shake Shack culinary director Mark Rosati and the team finally decided to use Hot One’s Classic and the Last Dab: Apollo sauces as the heat sources for their new mayo-based condiment.
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“We played around with it and there’s a lot more of The Classic compared to The Last Dab. The Classic has a good amount of Fresno chili and garlic and those two ingredients played really well with our ShackSauce,” Rosati tells InsideHook. “The Last Dab brings up the heat and it brings up a little bit of flavor. It’s very tangy. There’s a good amount of vinegar to it too. After a few bites. you can handle it — and then it’s gonna start to creep up.”
True hotheads may be disappointed as that creep only goes so far and, according to Rosati, clocks in at a seven out of 10 on the spiciness scale. “It’s hot, but I’d say it’s in the medium zone of heat,” he says. “For some people, there’s going to be some tingle going on here. For others, it’s not going to be at the height of their tolerance. It’s kind of the middle of the road, but it won’t satisfy everyone’s cravings for heat. There’s a fine line between creating something that has a good amount of heat and something that only a small number of people will actually enjoy.”
When introducing a new condiment like Spicy ShackSauce, the idea is that the sauce will ultimately end up adding a twist to what is already a tried-and-true menu offering. “We developed our burger blend 18 years ago in 2004. That burger blend has not changed and it still holds up today,” Rosati says. “The sauces or condiments can change it and give a whole different flavor profile. For us, that’s where the fun is. My favorite way of eating a burger is a cheeseburger with a little bit of mustard. It’s what I’ve been eating since a kid. You could add this sauce to that same burger and it’s a completely different experience. You can do a lot with just that single ingredient.”
Here’s how to make it.
Shake Shack x Hot Ones Spicy ShackSauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: None
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: Approximately 1 cup
- 1 cup Hellman’s real mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. dijon mustard
- 1½ tsp. Heinz ketchup
- ½ tsp. kosher dill pickling brine
- 2 pinches of cayenne pepper
- 1½ tbsp. Hot Ones Classic Hot Sauce
- 1 tbsp. Hot Ones The Last Dab: Apollo Hot Sauce
- 1½ tsp. honey
Combine ingredients in a bowl.
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