The great ranch odyssey and finding “the right recipe”, what feels like gallons of ranch later…
Something I have been putting off for the longest time was figuring out a good Ranch for dipping, that I really liked, that I could make at home. I had been putting it off because for whatever reason I knew it was going to be a giant pain in the ass, and that no recipe out there was going to be “the right one” and that it was going to require tons of experimentation. It proved to be as difficult as I expected. Everyone knows that classic ranch dipping sauce that you get in restaurants and if you do you also know that every time you buy a bottle of ranch at the store it ends up being disgusting in comparison. This post isn’t going to be particularly exciting but its going to be a reference post for when you need ranch for something else.
Most restaurants either use the flavor packets + buttermilk + mayo in some combination or they buy “the good stuff” in bulk. The problem is that “good stuff” is only available in bulk and who the hell needs 5 gallons of ranch taking up space in the back of their fridge.
I looked at probably 15 different recipes, and all sorts of twists, and it never came out just-right. It was always “yea thats better, but not really what I wanted”. I noticed that basically every ranch recipe involves a couple ingredients that are basically universal, then the rest of them are added flavor. Buttermilk and Mayo were always the base. What I learned was to stop trying to add to recipes and completely deconstruct them to the most basic basics, the platform of all ranch, and work my way up.
This was essentially me for the last 8ish days after each taste test.
Just to give you an idea, every measuring cup, every squeezy bottle, every small jar…everything was used to create taste tests.
I learned what the key to good ranch was and it was 100% making your own mayonnaise. I’ve already posted my favorite mayonnaise recipe and how to make it but it didn’t taste right for this. It was alittle too acidic for the ranch, so I needed to take it back a notch and make a mayo specifically for the ranch. The key was to make a boring mayonnaise, I know that sounds counter intuitive but it really was the case here.
Ingredients (for Mayo)
- 1 Cup Canola Oil
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dry Mustard
- 1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
- 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Egg Yolk
Make your mayo as you normally would, add the yolk/juice, whisk in the spices, then SLOWLY drip in the oil while whisking. You’re going to end up with a mayo that is much thicker than what you’d normally have, if you find your ranch is too thick then use alittle less oil.
Ingredients (for Ranch)
- 1 Cup Mayonnaise (home made)
- 1/4 Cup Buttermilk
- 1/4 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Onion Powder
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped Parsley
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped Chives
There is no magic here, combine them and whip it up. What you will have is the most basic form of good dipping ranch that rivals the restaurant quality ranch. This doesn’t need to be its final form, if you want you can make it a cilantro/lime ranch, or if you want it to be like Outback you can add some cayenne/paprika, or if you want a BBQ ranch just add some sauce.
HOWEVER, if you’re just looking for the basic good ranch…this is it.