REQUEST for ADVICE to rescue sauce

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bearcat22

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Feb 22, 2022
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washington dc
I am trying to make a sauce that is very expensive to purchase where I live. I've never tasted it. I found various Copycat recipes on the internet and chose one to scale down. It says it makes One Liter, too much for one person, so I tried to reduce the amounts by 75 per cent. My math skills are not great, maybe that is where things went wrong.


The sauce is very popular in the United Kingdom, Britain. Named HP sauce. I don't know what it is SUPPOSED to taste like. Came out very thick, and the problem is a nasty "bite" of bitter citrus flavor.



The site is Cookpad, and the original recipe is named "Tex's Copycat HP Sauce Recipe"


This is how I scaled it down:


I live in the USA, zip 20015. All groceries right now are insanely expensive. I'm in a phase of trying to make various copy cat recipes. I've never tried genuine HP sauce from Britain, but I was curious about it. A copycat recipe for A1 sauce came out very well, so I decided to give HP a try. I'm posting this to ask anyone who knows how HP should taste, smell and look to give advice. The recipe said it made one liter, too much for one person, so I cut it down by roughly 75 percent. The result was surprisingly thick, more like jam than sauce, and it has a nasty bitter tinge to the flavor, as if there were orange peel in it. I suppose I could try dumping in some sugar, but would appreciate advice/suggestions. I used Pink Lady apples.


Copycat HP Sauce makes One Cup


Roughly chop 1 apple and 1 small red onion.
Finely chop 1 clove of garlic


In a large pot, add


37.5 Ml water,
62.5 ml white wine vinegar,
half a small can of tomato paste,
62.5 ml apple juice, (4 tablespoons?)
62.5 ml orange juice,
4 Tablespoons dates,
4 Tablespoons prunes,
2 ¼ teaspoons molasses,
75 ml tamarind paste (5 tablespoons?)
1 finely chopped clove of garlic,
1 coarse chopped apple;
1 chopped red onion


Stir to blend.


Cover and bring mixture to a boil over Medium Heat.



  • Step 5: Reduce heat to a slow simmer and simmer covered for 25 - 30 minutes.

  • [FONT=Verdana, sans-serif]Step 6: Using a spice grinder thoroughly grind[/FONT]
  • 1\8 tsp ground black peppercorns,
  • 1\8 tsp cardamom,
  • 1\8 tsp mustard seed,
  • 1\8 tsp onion powder
  • 1\8 tsp cinnamon
1\4 Tsp Kosher Salt

  • unknown amount of cloves, allspice

  • After simmering in step #5, use an immersion (hand) blender to pureé mixture and reduce lumps. Add ground spice mixture to pot, stir well and simmer (covered) for another 30 - 45 minutes.

  • Add 75 ml cider vinegar to pot, stir to blend and return to a simmer.
  • Simmer until thick.

 

Andy M.

Certified Pretend Chef
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Massachusetts
Do you feel the cost of buying a bottle of it is too expensive? You can buy a one pound bottle for $8.45 on Amazon.

When you measure that against the effort of sourcing all the ingredients and the effort of cooking the sauce, it might be worth it.
 

bearcat22

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Feb 22, 2022
Messages
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Location
washington dc
Do you feel the cost of buying a bottle of it is too expensive? You can buy a one pound bottle for $8.45 on Amazon.

When you measure that against the effort of sourcing all the ingredients and the effort of cooking the sauce, it might be worth it.

What I was hoping to hear was someone describing the taste of the real thing.
Remember, I've never tasted the real HP sauce. That cash sum for the real thing was just too much for me to take a risk; what if it turned out I don't like the taste? So, I launched a copycat recipe project, that yes indeed ended up costing a lot more money. Not the first time I've shot myself in the foot.



The ideal situation would have been to find a restaurant that has it on the table and sample it, but I live in the USA, where this sauce is very uncommon, and I cannot afford to go out to restaurants very much, I live on social security.



You are very correct, the ingredients were a pain to acquire and costly to buy. But, once I get a project in mind, it is difficult for me to let go.


I suppose I will let it age a few days, then divide up some very small amounts, and test additives, such as white sugar, molassas, honey, to try to balance out the nasty citrus. My best guess is it it the Tamarind Paste doing the bad things.
 
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buckytom

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I haven't had Haich P sauce in a long time. I prefer A1 sauce, but HP will do just the same.

Lol, I don't think I've ever bought it, though. A bottle from my local Irish pub always seemed to follow me home.

My local supermarkets have a tiny section for Irish and British goods. Things like Barry's, and Batchelor's beans, and so on. They sell small bottles if HP as well.
 
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bearcat22

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Feb 22, 2022
Messages
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Location
washington dc
I haven't had Haich P sauce in a long time.

Lol, I don't think I've ever bought it, though. A bottle from my local Irish pub always seemed to follow me home.


Well, after sitting in the fridge overnight, the copycat HP is starting to mellow. Once you know the bitter will be there, it's less unpleasant. I will say, a complex flavor.
Some people say it's the same as the American steak sauce A1, but I strongly disagree.
I don't know if I am Irish or Scots in ancestry, one of those, but I have a stereotypical aspect: broke, cheapskate, with a streak of larceny in me.



Funny anecdote from an old magazine article. Writer is visiting a very expensive restaurant, that serves caviar in a chilled heavy solid gold dish. After eating, he quietly slips the gold dish into his jacket pocket. This being a very classy establishment, the staff pretend not to notice when they clear the table, saying nothing.


When the examines the check at the very bottom it says "One gold caviar dish, $500."





A generous friend found me genuine "bangers" so I could attempt to make a real English Breakfast, which I'd never had before.



I did up a copycat recipe of the tin of Heinz baked beans they use for it....ironically, this comes from America. It's really interesting. Tangy, almost sweet, and the flavors in an English Breakfast are so varied and good. The bangers were much better than I expected. Someone even has made an instructional video for Americans to make them, because it is hard to find Rusk in USA.



I think I'd like to try a pot pie next, but for damn sure I'm not gonna eat eels.


Or maybe real fish and chips....sigh. I'm glad Im old and will die soon. The world is really getting horrible.\ I grew up eating beef. I have not had steak in maybe ten or fifteen years, I don't even look at it in the store, just too costly. Soon, they say, seven dollar a gallon gas. Yesterday I was at the store, I thought the cabbage was $1.29. Nope, it rang up as FIVE DOLLARS. it was $1.29 per Pound.
 

buckytom

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My mountain
I agree about A1 and HP not being exactly the same. I'd say more like close cousins, but not twins.

I need to make a full Irish breakfast soon. Sunny side up eggs, streaky rashers, and a baked herbed tomato are easy to acquire, but it'll be tough to find good black and white puddings.
 

CharlieD

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USA,Minnesota
A skill I never master, describing the taste. In our local Cub Foods grocery store the price was not bad. Though I have not looked for one in a while.

But taste, little sour, kind of like mixture of plum sauce and ketchup mixed together.
 

bearcat22

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washington dc
Btw, I like the username. Any inference to the Grumman F8F?


The username comes from when it was tough to register a username for an email address years ago, and that handle just popped into my mind. I think the inspiration was the sports car named the Stutz Bearcat, not that I know very much about cars or jet aircraft. I do feel the swing wing Tomcat fighter was pretty darn impressive for the time it was built.


I'm an American, born here. Not a big fan of the American approach to war machines. Build the very best jets, but fewer of them, and too expensive. Versus Soviet approach, build junk, but cheaply and in great numbers. I think the thing that is fatal to American concept is maintenance costs. the latest jets can fly only a very few number of hours before they require a great many hours of mandatory maintenance, and it costs a lot of money to train the personnel to do that work. Same with that tank, the Abrams, expensive and complex machine to maintain.
I guess it is sort of on my mind in that it looks like war with Russia or China is inevitable fairly soon.


On the other hand, the case could be made that we've always been at war.....cold war, economic war. My cousin says it's going to be a cyber attack, and / or an EMP attack. And then America is screwed, because nothing is built to withstand EMP, it costs too much to do that. I think I read that one soviet fighter was deliberately built with Vacuum tubes instead of electronics so that an EMP could not knock it out of the sky. Lol. Sorry to be so garrulous. I watched a lot of the Discovery Channel "Wings" back in the day.


I am sort of a fan of planes that are cheaper. I think there is a propeller warplane, the SuperTucano or something that has better linger times and other advantages over any jet. That A10 Warthog is a lot of bang for the buck in my humble opinion. They use the prop planes down in South America I think.....but that brings to mind another war. Totally unwinnable, stupid war, the War On Drugs. Not that I like street drugs, just that any type of prohibition inevitably creates a huge incentive for criminals, not to mention huge corruption in law enforcement. On the other hand, gradually all USA states will legalize pot, so maybe eventually all drugs will be free choice.


Makes me wonder why the anti smoking people didn't just build a clandestine lab, develop an artificial plant disease to target the tobacco plant, and release it into the wild. I guess we are sort of doing that anyway, they say monoculture is going to make bananas and coffee extinct quite soon.



I have a friend who really resents USA giving "foreign aid" to what she calls "countries that hate us". I annoy her by pointing out that aid is so much cheaper than a standing military or imperialism. I think everyone was in Afghanistan (soviets and usa) in hopes of getting the rare earth minerals out of those mountains. But if Alexander the Great and the British Empire couldn't conquer it, no one could.



Thinking about recreational propeller planes, I seem to recall reading somewhere that they have a horrible accident rate, mostly because arrogant and overconfident people, such as rich physicians, fly them.
I love that guy Bill Rutan who sold DIY plane kits. Wish I could find a good PC version of that game Crimson Skies.
 

karadekoolaid

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Caracas
" The sauce is very popular in the United Kingdom, Britain. Named HP sauce. I don't know what it is SUPPOSED to taste like. Came out very thick, and the problem is a nasty "bite" of bitter citrus flavor."

There should be no bitter citrus flavour in HP Sauce. You´ll get the sweetness from the fruit (although I would never put prunes in it); the sharpness from the tamarind paste and a "bite" from the mixture of spices. I always think it was based on Indian Tamarind chutney a bit, because it is very similar with the sweet/sour notes.
Personally, I wouldn´t want to duplicate a recipe unless I´d at least tried it first - otherwise, how do you know what it should taste like? Anyhow, that´s entirely up to you.
Former Prime Minister Harold Wilson was a fanatic of HP Sauce.
 

bearcat22

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Joined
Feb 22, 2022
Messages
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Location
washington dc
A skill I never master, describing the taste. In our local Cub Foods grocery store the price was not bad. Though I have not looked for one in a while.

But taste, little sour, kind of like mixture of plum sauce and ketchup mixed together.


It is a challenge, isn't it? The cliche of every strange meat: tastes like chicken. I'd like to try rattlesnake and maybe alligator some day. Back during a meat famine, there was a plan to import Hippos to America for food.


Sort of absurdly, there are a lot of YouTube videos on perfume and cologne.


As this has aged a few hours, I'd say my copycat HP is going more towards the "sour" than the really "bitter" it was. Still, I think I will experiment with samples. Needs a bit more molasses and maybe worchestershire.


Lee and Perrins sold in the USA has always had a paper cover over the bottle. Curious, I peeled it off once and learned why. It looks disgusting. The story is it was a mistake, then stored and forgotten. Opened up months later, fermented and delicious. I think port and sherry came from spoiled wine originally. Same with Champagne, the bubbles were accidental.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EoihKUbmM38
 

taxlady

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Messages
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near Montreal, Quebec
I live in Montreal. It's easy to find here. I agree with Charlie's description, but I would say that it is excessively sweet for my taste. It's usually the texture of a thick barbecue sauce or slightly thicker than ketchup.

If it was bitter, I would suspect one of your spices is old or that somehow it got burnt while cooking it. I have never noticed a bitter taste. I don't see any ingredients in your list that would make it bitter. I haven't had any for quite a while, so I may not remember very well. Yes, it is a bit like A-1 sauce.
 

bearcat22

Assistant Cook
Joined
Feb 22, 2022
Messages
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Location
washington dc
" The sauce is very popular in the United Kingdom, Britain. Named HP sauce. I don't know what it is SUPPOSED to taste like. Came out very thick, and the problem is a nasty "bite" of bitter citrus flavor."

There should be no bitter citrus flavour in HP Sauce. You´ll get the sweetness from the fruit (although I would never put prunes in it); the sharpness from the tamarind paste and a "bite" from the mixture of spices. I always think it was based on Indian Tamarind chutney a bit, because it is very similar with the sweet/sour notes.
Personally, I wouldn´t want to duplicate a recipe unless I´d at least tried it first - otherwise, how do you know what it should taste like? Anyhow, that´s entirely up to you.
Former Prime Minister Harold Wilson was a fanatic of HP Sauce.


I suspect I put in too much Tamarind paste. I completely concur, this stuff is obviously pureed chutney.


Yes, it does sound really stupid to attempt an imitation of something you've never tasted. I'm sort of irrational in a lot of ways, I all too often let my feelings take over my logical brain.


I resent most retail prices because I've been poor all my life. I look at things the way my parents did. I think about the ingredients and the labor that probably went into them, and clearly many prices are wildly inflated above what it costs to make. I then get a deep feeling of Resentment and want to Stick It to The Man and make my own.


In the long run, sometimes the investments in tools, parts, ingredients and things pays off for me. Other times, disaster. Still when I succeed, the feeling of "Eff them" is great.


A1 Sauce in the bottle / retail is ridiculously overpriced, and I have made it quite cheap now for the first time with easy to acquire ingredients. The irony is, I cannot afford steak. Still, it reminds me of my father, dead now. A happy / sad thing. He loved his A1 sauce.


I know it sounds gross to some people, but I go dumpster diving in my apartment building, find used containers, wash and sterilize, and use them to store things such as these two sauces. Why? Because if you look at, for example, the price of a plastic retail Rubbermaid food storage container, a used cottage cheese container out of the trash is what I pick.


If I had the space and could afford the equipment, I'd build a still and make my own vodka. Yeah, I know, illegal.
 

bearcat22

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Feb 22, 2022
Messages
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Location
washington dc
I live in Montreal. It's easy to find here. I agree with Charlie's description, but I would say that it is excessively sweet for my taste. It's usually the texture of a thick barbecue sauce or slightly thicker than ketchup.

If it was bitter, I would suspect one of your spices is old or that somehow it got burnt while cooking it. I have never noticed a bitter taste. I don't see any ingredients in your list that would make it bitter. I haven't had any for quite a while, so I may not remember very well. Yes, it is a bit like A-1 sauce.




Yes, I have heard about HP sauce being somewhat common in Canada.


I may indeed have cooked it too long on too high a heat. The spices are indeed somewhat old, and the original recipe instructions mention spices that are not in the ingredients list. I may have simply put too many spices in, so thank you for the observation, though I don't know any cure for that.


My next ambition is to make Poutine for the first time. My attempt at gravy came out wonderful, but a tad salty, with Better than Bullion as my base. Fries may be tricky, and it was very expensive and difficult to find cheese curds.


I love fried foods, and just recently learned how toxic all vegetable oils are. Hydrogenation causes cancer.


I have only been outside the USA once in my life, in 1977, at age 14, Montreal. It was the adventure of a lifetime. Cleanest city I've ever seen, no muggers or beggars or drugs on the street or litter. Maybe inappropriate, but they sold me, a 14 year old, pornographic magazines and books without blinking an eye, something impossible in the USA. I never saw them , but overheard my parents speaking of night time, the best dressed people were quite obviously pimps and prostitutes, and the police pretty much just looked the other way.


Daytime, I remember my Frugal Yankee mom giving the quiet opinion that all the women in daytime Montreal dressed so fashionably and well because "she's wearing all her money on her back".


Sad to see Montreal is now having a rough time with heroin and other issues. Not that most USA cities are not the same. I lived in New Hampshire, a tourist state, and it always struck me as so very strange that the Canadian tourists, all with thick french accents, were always so incredibly rude and pushy and arrogant. But these days you are not supposed to make comments like that, no matter how factual your subjective observations are. Everyone is supposedly perfectly equal and all differences are supposed to be perfect and precious now.


My taste in humor is quite lowbrow, and I always adored the SCTV Canadian show, as well as the more current Trailer Park Boys. I wish I could lay my hands on some of that "Pepperoni" the characters are always eating, can't get it here in Washington DC and costs a bloody fortune over the internet.
 
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bearcat22

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Feb 22, 2022
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Location
washington dc
A skill I never master, describing the taste. In our local Cub Foods grocery store the price was not bad. Though I have not looked for one in a while.

But taste, little sour, kind of like mixture of plum sauce and ketchup mixed together.




Yes, I think one of my errors was I did not use plums. Can't recall what the original recipe said. I used a couple dried prunes.

If I had it to do over, I think maybe I'd use raisins instead.


I'm somewhat guilty of being a hasty and inattentive cook, so my failure at this should not discourage anyone from making their own if they have the time and ingredients at hand.


I live alone and have no family and only two friends in the whole world. It's annoying not to be able to find good recipes scaled to single servings.
 

bearcat22

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Feb 22, 2022
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washington dc
I agree about A1 and HP not being exactly the same. I'd say more like close cousins, but not twins.

I need to make a full Irish breakfast soon. Sunny side up eggs, streaky rashers, and a baked herbed tomato are easy to acquire, but it'll be tough to find good black and white puddings.


Like most dishes, the classic English breakfast evidently has regional variants. It was my understanding that American rasher bacon is NOT liked or used in Britain, but rather something we in the USA might call a thin ham steak, or maybe we would refer to it as Canadian Bacon. From what I've seen, many British seem to like their meats undercooked.



As for the blood pudding I saw included, not sure I'd like that. Yet another thing I'd like to taste one bite of, but afraid to invest in, and not at all easy to find near Washington DC.


What I made was bangers for the first time, which I thought took a surprisingly long time to cook. Then a slice of fried tomato, fried sliced mushrooms out of the tin, a tiny slice of american style rasher bacon, and the Heinz sauce baked beans. I forgot the fried bread. It seemed odd to me that the guide video I followed did not include potatoes, as this is an ingredient in what I think of as an American style farm breakfast. I used a mix of oil and butter for the frying.


Reminds me I want to try making Aussie Toaster Cakes some day.



This video was my inspiration. The following one has me interested in trying to make an authentic pot pie.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-WNLRsLlvE


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogfyJICT9aI


My ancestry is Irish, so sometimes I feel really guilty about being so curious and interested in British things. After all, they starved my ancestors or I wouldn't be here in America.


Still, I loved the BBC series named "Danger UXB" set during WW2. In one episode a soldier and a woman are cooking breakfast together, and she says he is a "dab hand" at making something. He says it isn't as good as "bacon boddies" or something like that.

She then playfully mock insults him by saying "Bloody Lancashire" and he retorts "Bloody Yorkshire", and they laugh. No idea what they were talking about, but interesting.
 

bearcat22

Assistant Cook
Joined
Feb 22, 2022
Messages
17
Location
washington dc
I haven't had Haich P sauce in a long time. I prefer A1 sauce, but HP will do just the same.

Lol, I don't think I've ever bought it, though. A bottle from my local Irish pub always seemed to follow me home.

My local supermarkets have a tiny section for Irish and British goods. Things like Barry's, and Batchelor's beans, and so on. They sell small bottles if HP as well.




It was amusing to learn that a strictly traditional English breakfast calls for American beans, Heinz, and that Americans almost never eat that particular blue label variety.



I live in Washington DC, so people from all over the world live here.

As you might expect, a large percentage of blacks, and I lucked out one day house sitting in Virginia for someone who had cable TV, which I could not afford. The many channels include a strange one, the Armed Services channel, and a big happy burly black navy man did a cooking channel. That episode I learned how to make authentic collard greens and fried chicken.


Research indicated that in American slaves were practically starved, and could only get the things that the white people didn't want to eat, such as hamhocks. They made the best of it, and interesting recipes and solutions emerged.


Once I learned how to save bacon fat and use it as an ingredient in Refried Beans, and I was gifted an instant pot, I bought a huge bag of dry Pinto beans. Man, refried beans fill you up for cheap, and can be flavored in so many ways.



The markets near me do carry "Asian" foods, as well as a lot of Hispanic, and a tiny selection of Kosher, but nothing British or Canadian.
Strangely enough, the best place to find exotic stuff for me is the Korean Grocery way out in Maryland. I do not own a car, and believe it or not, it is a huge pain in the rear to travel by bus / train here in DC. Not all that cheap, not at all reliable, and very time consuming. Still, I'm grateful to have it as the alternative is unaffordable, a car.
 

blissful

Master Chef
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Mar 25, 2008
Messages
5,073
In 2019 I canned 'brown sauce'. The first one was a little too sweet of our tastes, the second one was better. I use it now to make batter, usually for cauliflower or zucchini or sweet potatoes, then breaded, then baked on parchment.


Brown Sauce (makes 60 oz) (sweet and tangy with notes of allspice and heat)

Ingredients:
4 lbs of plums 1.8 k
1 and 1/4th cup stoned dates chopped 175 g
1/2 cup raisins 115 g
3 large onions peeled and chopped
1 bulb garlic, cloves peeled and chopped
2-3 fresh red hot chilies (more or less to taste)
1 tsp chili flakes
1/4 cup fresh ginger peeled and minced 55 g
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp allspice berries
1/4 cup salt 55 g
2 and 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar 665 ml


Simmer this mixture (above) for 30-40 minutes. Strain or put through a mill.
Then add the following.



3/4 cups apple cider vinegar 170 ml

1 tbsp turmeric powder
2 and 1/4 cups sugar 280 g


Simmer for 30 minutes and put in jars--use usual pressure canning techniques.




Brown Sauce II (less sweet, mild, thick, darker brown, more savory, tangy, less spicy)

1 and 1/2 cups AC vinegar
2 lbs fruit (apples plums) (3 apples, 3 plums)
1 lb green/red combination tomatoes (4 medium red/green)
1 and 1/2 large onion
1/2 bulb of garlic
1/8th cup of fresh ginger
Simmer for an hour, then strain or mill it. It is the color of medium caramel.



1 cup tamarind paste made from pulp

2 T molasses
1 t salt
1 and 1/2 t turmeric powder
1/2 t chili flakes
1/4 t allspice



Simmer for 30 minutes and put in jars--use usual pressure canning techniques.
(no dates or sugar in the second one, less salt)
 

bearcat22

Assistant Cook
Joined
Feb 22, 2022
Messages
17
Location
washington dc
In 2019 I canned 'brown sauce'. The first one was a little too sweet of our tastes, the second one was better. I use it now to make batter, usually for cauliflower or zucchini or sweet potatoes, then breaded, then baked on parchment.


Brown Sauce (makes 60 oz) (sweet and tangy with notes of allspice and heat)

Ingredients:
4 lbs of plums 1.8 k
1 and 1/4th cup stoned dates chopped 175 g
1/2 cup raisins 115 g
3 large onions peeled and chopped
1 bulb garlic, cloves peeled and chopped
2-3 fresh red hot chilies (more or less to taste)
1 tsp chili flakes
1/4 cup fresh ginger peeled and minced 55 g
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp allspice berries
1/4 cup salt 55 g
2 and 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar 665 ml


Simmer this mixture (above) for 30-40 minutes. Strain or put through a mill.
Then add the following.



3/4 cups apple cider vinegar 170 ml

1 tbsp turmeric powder
2 and 1/4 cups sugar 280 g


Simmer for 30 minutes and put in jars--use usual pressure canning techniques.




Brown Sauce II (less sweet, mild, thick, darker brown, more savory, tangy, less spicy)

1 and 1/2 cups AC vinegar
2 lbs fruit (apples plums) (3 apples, 3 plums)
1 lb green/red combination tomatoes (4 medium red/green)
1 and 1/2 large onion
1/2 bulb of garlic
1/8th cup of fresh ginger
Simmer for an hour, then strain or mill it. It is the color of medium caramel.



1 cup tamarind paste made from pulp

2 T molasses
1 t salt
1 and 1/2 t turmeric powder
1/2 t chili flakes
1/4 t allspice



Simmer for 30 minutes and put in jars--use usual pressure canning techniques.
(no dates or sugar in the second one, less salt)




Thank you so much for sharing those recipes. My perpetual challenge is scaling down recipes to serve one, and when it comes to things I've never made before, making smaller amounts in case of accident. For example, one fourth of a liter should make about one cup, right? nope, cutting the Copycat HP recipe produced more like two cups.


So, errors I have to learn from: Watch the heat more carefully, as the garlic in the first stage can turn bitter. Watch / reduce the amount of Tamarind paste; Maybe substitute raisins for the plum/prunes; be super careful not to overheat the spices.
 

karadekoolaid

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Location
Caracas
"I suspect I put in too much Tamarind paste. I completely concur, this stuff is obviously pureed chutney."
I´d say cut the orange juice and the prunes. Tamarind doesn´t taste "citric" to me, just acidic. Orange juice might well account for the citricity (new word!:ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:)
I see no reason to use prunes; dates, absolutely, prunes, unneccesary. I´d also avoid the allspice.
And another thing. I probably made about 1,000,000 jars of chutney between 2004 - 2014. I can assure you that, if you leave them to mature, they definitely taste better and mellow the flavours.
 
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