Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 5 hrs 15 mins
Total: 5 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 96 servings
Yield: 6 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
30 Calories
0g Fat
6g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 96
Amount per serving
Calories 30
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 27mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 6mg 31%
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 96mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The recipe for Worcestershire sauce, pronounced "woos-ter-sheer" (or "sher"), dates back to the early nineteenth century when the British Lord Sandys acquired it during travels in Bengal. In 1835, he commissioned a pair of chemists back in his English hometown of Worcester to try and replicate the flavor. John Lea and William Perrins gave it a go but were disappointed by the results. They stuck the jars in the cellar and forgot about them.

After a few years, Lea and Perrins found the bottles under a thick layer of dust and decided to give the sauce another chance. During the unintentional aging process, it had developed a rich and savory flavor identified by modern foodies as umami. The partners bottled more, and a taste for Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce spread throughout Europe, to America, and across the world.

Now a generic term, Worcestershire sauce is marketed by many other brands, with some proprietary variations in ingredients. Lea & Perrins closely guards its original recipe for the still-thriving company's Worcestershire Sauce, but the main ingredients include vinegar, anchovies, tamarind, molassesgarlic, and onions, along with sugar and undisclosed spices and seasonings.

This recipe allows you to make your own Worcestershire sauce at home and use it in recipes, such as homemade meatloaf, Chex party mix, and chicken marinade. It does contain a lot of ingredients, but the method is simple—just keep in mind it needs five hours of cooking time.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 large sweet onions, roughly chopped

  • 1/2 cup tamarind paste

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger

  • 2 jalapeños, seeds removed, minced

  • 1/4 cup anchovies, chopped

  • 1/4 cup tomato paste

  • 2 whole cloves

  • 2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper

  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup

  • 1 cup molasses

  • 3 cups white vinegar

  • 1 cup dark beer

  • 1/2 cup orange juice

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

  • 1 lime, thinly sliced

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Homemade Worcestershire sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onions until soft, about 7 minutes.

    sauté the onions in a large saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Add the tamarind paste, garlic, ginger, and jalapeños. Cook over medium-low heat for another 5 minutes.

    Onions, tamarind paste, garlic, ginger, and jalapeños in a large saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 hours.

    Homemade Worcestershire sauce ingredients cooking together in a large saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. The sauce is done when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

    Homemade Worcestershire sauce tested on the back of a wood spoon

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Strain the Worcestershire sauce into glass bottles or jars, and refrigerate.

    Homemade Worcestershire sauce

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Use in your favorite recipes and enjoy.

Tips

  • Fresh Worcestershire sauce lasts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks. For longer storage, can it in a boiling-water canner according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Use Worcestershire sauce to add background flavor to meats, gravies, soups, and vegetable juices. It is also a versatile table condiment and an essential ingredient in the bloody mary cocktail.