Your online resource

for all things culinary


HOME Search this Site All Recipes Special Sections Articles &  Resources Kitchen Equipment Food & Health Growing Food Directories

Missing an Ingredient ? UKFoodOnline.co.uk

 

Worcestershire Sauce

Information, history and recipes about Worcestershire Sauce

 

Ingredient of  the Month 

Scroll down for Worcestershire Sauce recipes

 

Click here for more Ingredients of the Month

September  2004

 

 

 

Origin and History of Worcestershire Sauce

 

Although many of us think of Worcestershire Sauce as being very English, it’s origins are firmly entrenched in India. In 1835, an English Lord, Lord Sandy, who hailed from the county of Worcestershire in England, commissioned a pair of chemists, John Lea and William Perrins, to reproduce a sauce he had sampled whilst he was in India. Why he should engage Chemists rather than cooks will probably remain a mystery, but that’s certainly what he did.

They accepted the commission, however after working on the concoction, the end result was anything but pleasant and they finally gave up, leaving the brew in a cellar. They came across it some two years later but before discarding it, they decided to taste it again, probably to reinforce what a hash they made of it. However, much to their surprise, it had improved and matured, a bit like a fine wine or balsamic vinegar. It had taken on an aromatic smell with an unusual piquant taste. There – the original Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce came into being.

We can only assume these chemists were also incredible marketers as before long Worcestershire sauce found itself on passenger ships, hotel dining rooms and restaurants the former being instrumental in spreading the “Worcestershire Sauce Word” all over the globe and its popularity remains in many cuisines worldwide.

To put it firmly in its rightful place, mention should be made of the fact that it’s been commercially available for over 165 years….that’s 45 years longer than Ketchup. So good was the original that there are now over 100 different brands available.

 

 

Production and Ingredients of Worcestershire Sauce

 

Although there are many different brands available, here we will deal with the original and “authentic” brand so we must point out that other brands will vary both in production methods and ingredients.

This condiment should properly be considered a worldwide ingredient as it contains many ingredients which aren’t native to England such as tamarinds from India, chilli peppers from Africa and anchovies from Italy. To be considered authentic, it should also contain (among other things) vinegar, molasses, cloves, garlic and onion.

Although the original recipe is apparently a closely guarded secret, we do know that the ingredients are fermented in vinegar over a long period of time and once matured the mixture is strained into wooden casks and left again to further mature. This is reminiscent of the way Balsamic vinegar is processed. Once fully matured, the sauce is strained again although some solids are always left in which gives the sauce its particular characteristics. So you should always shake the bottle before every use.

Some differences between “authentic” Worcestershire sauce and would-be imitators are only fresh onion, garlic and shallots are used - not cooked or dried vegetables. Also the sauce should not be “cooked” at any stage in the maturing process but rather left to age for a long time, like wine. Furthermore, no colourings, such as caramel should be added as an authentic Worcestershire sauce relies on the molasses for its dark colour.

 

Worcestershire sauce in cooking
 

Where to start? Soups, stews, meats, fish, poultry, cheese dishes, vegetable dishes,  marinades, sauces, gravies and dressings can all be enhanced with varying amounts of Worcestershire Sauce. If you’re not familiar with its use, then just try small amounts at first: no more than ½  teaspoon until you’re well versed with its taste.
 

The only drawback, if one can call it that, is that it contains anchovies and so is unsuitable for vegetarians. Some brands may also contain gluten products so always check the label.
 

Below is a selection of dishes using this wonderful condiment. More Worcestershire Sauce recipes can be found using the search form.

Happy Cooking!

 Follow us 

Share 

 

 

Hors d'oeuvre, Appetisers and Soups

Crab Louis    CD  HD  10mins plus chilling

Prawn Cocktail    CD  HD   10mins

Spicy Beef Balls     HT   PFC   25mins plus chilling

Stilton Whirls   CD  PFC  English   30mins plus chilling

Lentil Soup     HT  SP  40mins

American Style Fish Soup      HT  SP   90mins

Main Courses

Satay Duck    HT  MC   20mins

Braised Pork Chops with Apples    HT  MC  30mins

Haddock baked in Cream    HT  MC  35mins

Shepherd's Pie    HT  MC   60mins

Aubergines Caskets    HT  MC   90mins

Beef in Burgundy    HT  MC  French  165mins plus marination

Accompaniments

Crab Dip    CD  ACC   5mins plus chilling

Jamaican Jerk Marinade Veg HT CD ACC West Indian 5mins

Cherry Salsa    CD  ACC  10mins plus chilling

Strawberry and Spinach Salad    CD  ACC  10mins

Onion Gravy    HT  ACC  British  30mins

Honey Glazed Squash    HT  ACC  80mins

 

  

 

 Sign up for Free E-mailings
 
 

I still haven't found what I'm looking for

 

Try our search facility. Type in your main ingredient (s) or whatever you happen to have available in your store cupboard or fridge and allow us to whisk you up a recipe in seconds!

 

 

 

For full advanced search tips visit our main search page via the red "search this site" button at the top of the page

 

About Us  |  Contact Us  |   Advertise |    Private Privacy  |   Media Resources  |  Links  |  Sitemap  |  Printing Recipes  |  

 

Abbreviations on this site  

 

 

 

This Web Site was designed and created by Recipes4us.co.uk. Copyright © 2000 to date [Recipes4us] All rights reserved.

 Some Photos © www.fotolia.co.uk