Tuesday, September 11, 2012
A Worcestershire Sauce to Love
Making Worcestershire sauce at home, much less multiple times, was not on my DIY list a year ago. But as with almost all the DIY projects I dive into, I am rewarded to discover that the results are healthier, more flavorful and often less expensive. (There are, of course, exceptions: yogurt anyone? If at first you don’t succeed, try try again...) Worcestershire sauce is a slam-dunk winner, though, and I have been singing its praises since my first batch. I may be in love.
Worcestershire sauce was a happy find in Jennifer Reese’s terrific book, Make the Bread, Buy the Butter. It was not something I ever dreamed I would have any interest in making since it never caught my attention the way other condiments do (mustards, hot sauces, chutneys). It turns out that was a reflection of the quality of Worcestershire I’d had. With store-bought Worcestershire, I used a teaspoon here and there. With homemade, I look for reasons to pull it out and start pouring.
Glossy, thick, robust and downright delicious - not the usual words to describe Worcestershire sauce! I’m dolloping it on grilled steaks, mixing it into meatloaf, whisking it into salad dressings and adding spoonfuls wherever I want a pop of flavor. It may even make a marvelous homemade holiday gift, too.
I have made this Worcestershire quite a few times now following the original recipe. This last time, though, I had no dark corn syrup on hand, and rather than heading to the store I decided to try honey instead which yielded great results. I also had a couple of extra jalapenos in my crisper drawer that needed a purpose so I included them for a little more bite. Kapow. This is sauce with character. This is a sauce to love.
From Make the Bread, Buy the Butter
By Jennifer Reese (used with permission)
Makes 3 - 4 cups
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 serrano chiles, chopped with seeds (I added 2 jalapenos, as well)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Two 2-ounce cans anchovies, drained (I usually add the oil)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 lemon, peel and white pith removed and discarded (I zest it first and freeze the zest)
2 cups honey (original recipe calls for dark corn syrup)
1 cup molasses
1 quart distilled white vinegar
1/4 pound fresh horseradish, peeled and grated
In a large, heavy sauce pan, combine the oil, onions and chiles and stir over high heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, pepper, anchovies, cloves, salt, lemon, honey, molasses, vinegar, horseradish and 2 cups of water and bring it all to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces and thickens and barely coats a wooden spoon, about 6 hours. Your kitchen will smell heavenly!
Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Press gently to release all the liquid. Discard the solids and let the sauce cool to room temperature. Store in a bottle or jar in the fridge. It keeps indefinitely, but you’ll be gobbling it up!