Have You Met Henry Bain?

By Marsha Fottler –

henrybainOnce you’ve met Henry Bain, your life in the kitchen will be easier and you’ll have a reliable cooking resource that will bring rave reviews to many of  your meat preparations.

Henry Bain is a sauce – a piquant, tangy, brown sauce that can be an ingredient in a complex recipe, or a room-temperature sauce to drizzle over a steak, hamburger, meat loaf, duck  – indeed almost any red meat or dark fowl. Henry Bain Sauce intensifies and boosts the natural flavors of the meats. But you can use it as a dipping sauce for French fries. And for cocktail hour, pour some Henry Bain Sauce over a block of  softened cream cheese and serve with crackers. Yummy!

This versatile sauce is named after a head waiter at the Pendennis Club in Louisville, Kentucky, named Henry Bain (1863-1928). Mr. Bain created his sauce for steaks and locally killed game. The all-male club members took to the sauce so enthusiastically that they would routinely bring their kills to the club to be cooked and sauced by the magical Bain sauce. Pickled walnuts were an ingredient in the original sauce, but you don’t usually see it in the modern renditions of this sauce. You want the walnuts in your sauce.

The Pendennis Country Club in Louisville
The Pendennis Country Club in Louisville

The interesting thing about Henry Bain Sauce is that it is mostly composed of bottled or ready-made ingredients that you can source right off the supermarket shelves. It’s easy to make and tastes just great. So, there is every reason for the home cook to get to know Mr. Bain and his incredibly good sauce. If you don’t want to make your own Henry Bain Sauce, you can order it online from this source:  Taste of Kentucky. For mail orders call the Pendennis Club in Louisville at 502-584-4311. Here are three recipes.


Original Henry Bain Sauce

(Pendennis Club)

Pickled Walnuts
Pickled Walnuts

(this one contains pickled walnuts, which the creator of the sauce, used in his recipe)


1 (17 ounce) jar chutney (peach is nice)

4 1/2 ounces pickled walnuts, chopped or lightly processed in a food processor. Pickled walnuts (in a jar) are available in gourmet stores.

1 (14 ounce) bottle ketchup

1 (10 fluid ounce) bottle steak sauce (such as A1)

1 (10 fluid ounce) bottle Worcestershire sauce

1 (12 ounce) bottle tomato-based chili sauce (such as Heinz)

1 dash hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco), or to taste

Mix chutney, pickled walnuts, ketchup, steak sauce, Worcestershire sauce, chili sauce, and hot pepper sauce in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use. Serve at room temperature.



Mango Chutney
Mango Chutney

Henry Bain Sauce 

(New York Times cooking pages version)

1/3 cup mango or peach chutney

4 tablespoons of your favorite steak sauce

4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

4 tablespoons chili sauce

2 tablespoon ketchup

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Hot sauce, to taste

4 tablespoons chopped watercress, optional


In a small pot set over medium heat, stir all the ingredients except the watercress. Heat until slightly thickened, then remove from heat. Allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to use. Just before serving, if you like, stir chopped watercress into the sauce. Serve at room temperature.


Henry Bain Sauce

Henry Bain on Beef Tenderloin
Henry Bain on Beef Tenderloin

(Southern Living Cookbook)

1 (9-ounce) bottle fruit chutney

1 (14-ounce) bottle ketchup

1 (12-ounce) bottle chili sauce

1 (10-ounce) bottle steak sauce

1 (10-ounce) bottle Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon hot sauce


Process chutney in a food processor until smooth. Add next 5 ingredients, and process until blended. Chill sauce at least 2 hours before using on meats.






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