Speidie Sauce


When I come across something completely new in a cookbook, I get absolutely giddy, especially when it’s not part of an exotic cuisine. Speidie sauce is all-American or, at least, a significant part of upstate New York summer barbecues.

During the pandemic, my daughter and husband escaped to a resort on Long Island over the Thanksgiving weekend. She told me they would be dining at a Charlie Palmer restaurant on Thanksgiving. I hadn’t thought about Charlie Palmer much over the years, but knew he was a highly regarded and successful chef.

When I googled him, I think he was running something like 19 restaurants! The most famous one being Aureole – one in New York City and also in Las Vegas. And if I counted right, he’s written 7 cookbooks.

I became quite intrigued with Charlie Palmer and his longevity, so I purchased American Fare, published in 2015. The cookbook contains really nice recipes – nothing too crazy, nor too plain, and all perfect for home cooking I bookmarked so many recipes, to my amazement.

One recipe jumped out at me, called Speidie sauce, or Charlie’s Speidie marinade. (Speidie is pronounced speedy.)

From the cookbook, “In upstate New York where I grew up, summertime is speidie time. Speidies are beef or chicken kabobs marinated in a locally produced speidie sauce and cooked on the grill. Almost nobody makes their own sauce; it is purchased by the case to take the barbecue master through the entire summer’s grilling.”

Have you heard of such a thing?! I went to my favorite local deli, Amazon.com, and sure enough, found 3 examples of purchasable speidie sauce/marinade. And what’s funny to me is that they all look so different!

Following is Chef Palmer’s speidie marinade recipe, his version that he “happily” shares.

Charlie’s Speidie Marinade
Printable recipe below

2 cups dry white wine
1/4 sherry wine vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup finely minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 bay leaves, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a non reactive container. Because of the last hand operation, I’m not very good at chopping, so I threw the ingredients into a blender. Yes, sympathy, please!

Cover and allow flavors to blend for at least 1 hour before using. May be stored, refrigerated, for up to 1 week. The marinade can be used for any meat, poultry, or game.

To test out this marinade, I chose to make kabobs with filet mignons, bell peppers, and onions.

The beef and vegetables marinated for 24 hours. After bringing them to room temperature, I grilled the kabobs over coals.

The marinade is good! There is a strong wine, shallot, and dried herb component, which I love.

I served a white bean salad on the side, along with flatbreads.

Honestly, I’d halve the wine, and double the oil. The marinade is tasty, but very “wet”.



45 thoughts on “Speidie Sauce

  1. Hi Mimi, Sam Sifton at the New York Times talks about this speidie sauce all the time and I never took the time to explore it. Thanks for posting this because I will try it and I don’t have to do the research. Have a wonderful weekend my friend.

    • Really? Interesting. I even have his cookbook. I’ll have to explore more! I guess he’s a northerner as well.

  2. I’ve heard about speidies before (I think it originated with Italians) and grilled on skewers but not the sauce. I think I will buy some sauce and maybe add this to my grilling collection! I do love the peppers and onion addition…

    • If there is a significant population of Italians in upstate New York, then that certainly would make sense. Barbecued marinated meat and vegetables are always good!

      • I just looked it up and according to Wikipedia spiedie is derived from the Italian spiedo meaning spit. The idea for it was brought by Italian immigrants to upstate New York in the early 1920’s. I just love to research a recipe so thanks for introducing me to this. Cubes of marinated meat are a favorite way to grill along with some good veggies!

    • Thank you for your sympathy! I only thought I needed to have my right hand operated on, because I’m “so right handed.” The doctor told me that I had no idea how much I actually use my left hand, and boy was he right. I think of chopping as a right handed activity, but gripping an onion or garlic clove with my left hand is the painful part, even after 2 surgeries on the left hand. But I’m so much better off than before, so hats off to great surgeons!

    • I lived in NY for a couple of years, but on Long Island. Never heard of a speidie. Such an interesting word! Aunt Juju says that word comes from Italian, for spit.

  3. Hi Mimi! Great post! I didn’t know there is a sauce called Speidie sauce! Thanks for introducing it to us. And the recipe is easy enough to make it homemade – why bother to buy the bottle- right? Love your Kabobs – they’re so colorful!

    • I just have never liked bottled dressings ever. To me, they’re all easy to whip up to complement any salad. So many options. So why buy?!!

    • My husband won’t eat tough meat, and at least you can cook the pieces on the rarer side and the meat is nice and lean. Which is why I do the vegetables separately!

    • Great question! I had to go back and make sure I’d spelled it correctly according to the cookbook author. But the bottle of sauce are all spelled spiede. Even autocorrect goes to Speidie with a capital “S”!.

  4. Ah, I am familiar with spiedie sauce as they sell a couple varieties here in our local grocery store. It is quite tasty, but like most bottled dressings – homemade is always better. Thanks for sharing this one, Mimi!

    • You’re welcome. It was an interesting find, but a somewhat disappointing recipe. It’s really just a marinade, not a “sauce!”

  5. I’ve had a Chicken Spiedie at a restaurant once. No wonder they laughed at my pronunciation. i guess they knew I wasn’t from the area. I had no idea it was a “thing”. Ha! I’ve never seen that marinade in stores, but I imaging homemade is so much better. And, you definitely have my sympathy for being unable to do so much chopping. Hope time heals!

    • Thanks, Laura. Chopping is certainly a big part of cooking! Well I’ve still never seen or heard that word, but I guess it is a thing! It’s just a marinade!

  6. Ohhh first time I heard about this sauce and it sounds delicious! Thanks for the recipe becuase there is no chance for that sauce to be on any of the supermarkets here

    • Not where I live either! It’s tasty, but I’d cut back on the wine, and increase the oil. Just used it again on pork – the flavor is good, but it’s just too watery.

  7. I haven’t thought of speidie sauce in a long time! Not since we lived in the NYC area, and we left there in the mid-90s. It’s good stuff! And this looks like a terrific recipe. Thanks.

  8. First, thanks for giving the correct pronunciation, haha! This sounds and looks delicious! I love all of the flavors in this marinade and especially the combination of both the wine and the vinegar, along with the other aromatics and herbs. This is a must-make this summer

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