shake shack cheese sauce

I am obsessed with Shake Shack.  Hands down best burgers ever.  And oh my god the cheese fries.  The cheese fries!!!  Even had our American Thanksgiving dinner there while we were in Las Vegas the other week (and we weren’t the only ones!)  This is the recipe for the sauce that they put on their cheese fries which I got from the Shake Shack: Recipes & Stories book.  Actually, it’s called their ‘(close enough) cheese sauce’ since their recipe is a secret but I think this make-at-home version is really, well, close enough!

Makes about 6 cups.

1 tbsp canola oil  /  1/2 onion, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick  /  6 thin slices jalapeño  /  2 tsp whole black peppercorns  /  1/2 tsp kosher salt  /  1 tbsp white wine vinegar (which I substituted with apple cider vinegar)  /  2 tsp white wine (which I got from a can.  I didn’t even know wine came in cans!)  /  2 cups heavy cream  /  2 cups grated cheddar cheese  /  2 cups grated American cheese*

*My American friend said American cheese is basically Kraft singles!  Well I always have a supply of Kraft singles so I can repeatedly re-live my childhood in the form of grilled cheese sandwiches.  Anyway, I just used those, ripped into pieces, instead of buying a block of Velveeta and I weighed it out – works out to 8 slices of cheese.


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and then add the onions, jalapeño, peppercorns, and salt.  Cook, while stirring often, for about 5 minutes.  Add the vinegar and wine and cook for another 5 minutes or so.


Add the cream and then take the saucepan off the heat.  Let the cream steep for about 30 minutes.


After steeping, put the saucepan back over medium heat until it gets very warm but don’t let it come to a boil.  (I didn’t heat it enough at this stage so my cheese wasn’t melting all the way through so just make sure it’s quite hot.)

Put the American and cheddar cheeses into a large heatproof bowl and then pour the hot cream through a strainer over the sauces.


Stir until the cheese melts and the sauce is smooth. (Since my cream wasn’t hot enough, I put the bowl over a pot of simmering hot water and that did the trick.)  The sauce can be kept covered in the fridge for up to 1 week and can be reheated in the microwave.


The recipe says the cheese sauce would be good on burgers, hot dogs and veggies.  And of course, put it on fries!!!



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