Sauces are magical. I’ve been making hot sauces for years. I started making my own mayonaise since I got chickens. Mustard and horseradish are both on my list as well. More recently, I was fascinated, and inspired by a couple others who made Worcestershire Sauce. Tim Artz over at Tim’s Food Obsession was the tipping point. When he said his homemade sauce was more earthy and rich than the original, I had to try it. I had most everything that was needed, minus the preserved lemons and Korean anchovies.
I grew up with Worcestershire sauce in our pantry. We all loved it, but didn’t think much further as to what was in it. While some people keep it refrigerated… we never did. As a matter of fact, the A1 steak sauce (that says refrigerate after opening) also lived in the pantry… just as it still does today. Yes, I have never refrigerated A1 sauce, and still live to tell the tale.
As an adult, the mind now wonders. Seeing everything used to make this mysterious condiment had me asking, who came up with this stuff? The ingredients are just as complex as its name.
It’s easy to find many recipes to make the sauce. Just google it. I ended up taking ideas from Tim, and Serious Eats… but changed up the dried chili’s used and added some additional sun-dried tomatoes I had left from last season.
Here’s what I ended up with:
- 4 cups MadHouse malt vinegar (Richard Stewart and Justin Dean have a great thing happening)
- 12 oz. tamarind paste
- 1/2 cup unsulfured molasses
- 6 oz. fermented soy sauce
- 3 T sea salt
- 3 T brown mustard seed
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 T course ground white pepper
- 1 t garam masala
- 6 broken cardamom pods
- 6 smoked chilis (2 chipotle, 2 ancho, 2 mulato, split and deseeded)
- 5 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 cup Korean anchovies
- 6 T fresh ginger, peeled and diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 cinnamon stick, broken in pieces
- 1/4 cup raw sugar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 preserved lemons, diced
- 1 cup mixed raisins (yellow, and red)
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
Put it all in a stainless steel pot and stir over medium heat until it boils. It may be significant to note that Tim reserved half the vinegar and added later after cooling. I did not because the mixture was already thick, and I wanted more of the liquids in it to prevent sticking or scorching. Keep an eye on it. It will thicken even more, and begin to look like a mixture of tar and debris. Once it boils, reduce to a simmer for 3o minutes or so.
I put it in a gallon glass pickle jar and covered with saran wrap. I put it down in my wine cellar for about 4 weeks and I didn’t stir or do anything during that time. I did notice it seemed to thicken even more.
It smelled like the sauce I was used to, but definitely thicker and more aromatic. I strained it through a colander. Thinking about all the goodness left in the “mash,” I ended up taking about a cup of filtered water and running it through the again, and increasing the yield. The result was as good as I had hoped for. I can think of a few other things I might to to make it more unique, but I’ll save that for a future update.