Worcestershire Sauce is a fermented liquid condiment created in 1837 by two English chemists. It is used in lots of home cooking, burgers, soups, stews and casseroles, principally because of its savoury flavours and as a source of umami. Specifically, Worcestershire Sauce is a principal ingredient in Welsh Rarebit, Caesar Dressing, and the Bloody Mary Cocktail.
The first Worcestershire Sauce was made by a couple of chemists called Lea & Perrin who were commissioned to manufacture an Indian style sauce for a returning member of the British Raj. The sauce was a mix of malt vinegar, molasses, anchovies*, sugar, salt, onions, garlic, lemons, tamarind paste, and spices including cloves, chilli and pepper. According to folklore the resulting sauce was unusable and was left in a barrel, after some time one of the pair tasted the sauce again. Because of fermentation, the sauce had mellowed and was close to what we now use today.
*Anchovy sauces in Europe can be traced back to the 17th century. In Roman times the food was seasoned with a fermented fish sauce called Garum and a recipe for it is included in Apicius, a famous Roman culinary record. Because of the anchovies, Worcestershire sauce is unsuitable for people allergic to fish, vegans, and vegetarians.
The best way of letting your Worcestershire Sauce develop its particular flavour is to bottle it in old sterilised disused beer bottles and then pasteurise the contents and leave to mature.
Worcestershire Sauce about 1 litre
2 tablespoons good quality Olive Oil
2 large sweet Onions, peeled and chopped
2 large cooking Apples, peeled and chopped
400 ml Malt Vinegar
300 ml Golden Syrup
300 ml Beer
150 ml Orange Juice
150 ml Tamarind paste
6 cloves of Garlic, peeled and chopped
6 centimetre piece of Ginger, peeled and grated
2 Jalapeno Peppers, seeds removed and minced
200 gr tinned Anchovies, chopped
150 ml Tamarind paste
150 ml Tomato paste
1 tablespoon freshly cracked Black Pepper
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and sauté the chopped onion over a medium heat until soft, but without too much colouring. Add the tamarind paste, garlic, ginger, and Jalapenos. Reduce the heat and very gently cook for another ten minutes, stirring continuously taking care not to burn the ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 3 hours until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Strain Worcestershire sauce into sterilised glass bottles or jars and store in a cool dark cupboard.