Some say never to shake the bottle, lest you upset its contents. Some say never to open the bottle until it’s been in the cellar for a year (we do think that’s a good thing, too). Others may say it’s not the real deal unless it has the requisite anchovies in it. But we say regardless of anything else, it’s a must have in the pantry, and this is a cracking version you can whip up easily at home. Matthew Evans, Gourmet Farmer Series 4
Some might say it’s not Worcestershire sauce unless it’s come from Worcestershire. Well, that may be true, but what else to call our version of this classic dark sauce?
- 1 kg apples (or plums or a combination of both), coarsely chopped
- 1 onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 250 g salt
- 4 litres apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 100 g peppercorns
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 2 fresh red chillies
- 1 tbsp tamarind pulp
- 80 g sugar
- 250 ml (1 cup) treacle
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: 3 months
Place the apple, onion and garlic in a large saucepan. Cover with water and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour or until cooked to a pulp and cook to a pulp. Press through a fine sieve or a mouli into a bowl. Wash out the pan and return the strained paste to the pan.
Add the salt, vinegar, spices, chilli, tamarind and sugar. Stir over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat to high and keep on a rolling boil for 3 hours. Add the treacle and boil for another 30 minutes. Strain and pour into sterilised bottles. You might think it tastes awful and this is a rubbish recipe. But trust me, allow it to mellow for at least 3 weeks (preferably longer) and you’ll be calling yourself Lea & Perrins. This sauce keeps for years and is, in fact, better after a year forgotten in the back of the pantry. Once it’s open, however, store in the fridge to keep the flavour fresh.
Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Lucy Tweed. Food preparation by Tammi Kwok. Creative concept by Belinda So.