Corn Free and sometimes Dairy Free cooking

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

Corn Free and Dairy Free

After a good bit of searching, I came to realize that there was no "safe" Worcestershire Sauce for us corn allergic folks, anywhere on the commercial market, at least none I could find. I find that so many of my recipes called for a little bit of Worcestershire and some called for quite a bit! Something had to be done. I spent close to a year, mixing and experimenting, reading other peoples recipes, trying new things, having taste testings, etc. I think I have finally found a winning combination of ingredients and technique. This recipe, as all things made from scratch, takes time. Now that it is perfected, to save time, I will at least double the recipe when I prepare it. Eventually, I plan to quadruple it and can it, using a boiling water bath. I think it will be nice to go to my basement shelves and have several jars of it on hand to open as I need them! I will add a note about my canning the product once I have given it a try.

Note: I use tamarind paste as an ingredient in my Worcestershire sauce, this too is home made. I make it up and freeze it in ice cube trays, storing it long term in the freezer. I think it adds enough to the final sauce to make it worth the trouble. I think it provides an important flavor note while also providing body to the sauce as well.

The instructions for making the Tamarind Sauce follow the Worcestershire sauce recipe.

1 1/2 teaspoon oil
1 med chopped onion (about baseball size)
2 clove garlic, chopped
1 jalepeno pepper
2 cup cider vinegar
1 cup honey (make sure it is corn free - local honey, beekeepers that do not feed corn syrup in the winter months)
1 cup water
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I substitute bottled 5% acidity, as I plan to can it in the future - I buy bottled lemon juice from a Kosher Market that is labeled KFP-Kosher For Passover)
2 Tablespoons fresh grated horseradish (buy the raw root at a good produce section)
1 teaspoon anchovy paste (this ingredient is called for a lot, I omit it)
2 Tablespoons tamarind (paste/sauce made with dried tamarind + water. Directions follow this recipe)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Those ingredients will Makes 3 cups of finished sauce.

You will need:
1 large heavy bottom pan (No Lid needed or desired)
1 medium size wire type sieve (large enough to accommodate at least 3 cups would be ideal)
Stirring spoon
Cutting board
Sharp knife
Liquid measuring cup (the type with a pour spout is best but you could manage with the others if you don't have one yet)
A deep, stable (won't tip), heat resistant mixing bowl or a second pan of similar dimension
Glass or, nonreactive containers (equal to 3 cups) for storage of sauce, don't forget to label contents! (Ask me how I know )

Heat pan, over medium heat. When it's good and warm, add oil.
Saute' the onions and garlic in that oil for about 3 minutes, the onions will become translucent.
Remove pan from the burner and add the remaining ingredients.
Return pan to burner and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat and, simmer on lowest flame possible (just a tiny bit of movement visible in the liquid)
Simmer until the amount has reduced to about 3 cups (remember, no lid!).
Take a moment to give it a stir every few minutes. This insures that it will not stick and it keep the flavors moving and mingling together.
(This stirring, does not require your full attention, you can be cooking or doing other kitchen things while this mixture simmers down to the right amount which will take about 20 mins to a 1/2 hour after reaching the simmer)
Once it has reduced, remove it from heat and allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes (10-15).
While the mixture cools, set up the bowl with the sieve sitting over top. Have a metal spoon close at hand that you can use to move the mixture around in the sieve. the stirring helps it to drain thoroughly.
Drain the mixture into the sieve, do this in batches, not all at once. Once the liquid is in the collection bowl and you are certain it is done draining, throw the solid matter away and drain more.
When transferring the liquid from the bowl to the storage container, it will begin to settle/separate. If you are pouring it into more than one container, be sure to keep it shaken or mixed as you go, to get the right amount of everything in each jar or other non-reactive storage container.
Store in fridge, should keep safely for almost forever but, it may, over a long period of storage (months and months), lose it's potency or flavor, keeping an air tight cap on it at all times will help. I pour mine into several containers and I vacuum seal mine them before refrigerating.

I keep the bottle I am using on the door of the fridge, with a simple screw on lid, it is labeled as Worcestershire Sauce, includes the date I made it and in large clear lettering it says:
"Shake before using"

Kitchen tip - (for those who are looking for excellent results) Keep a clean highly washable ruler in the kitchen drawer. For this recipe before beginning measure 6 cups of water into pot, lower ruler into pot and make a note of the depth. Now you can easily check to see if the volume of liquid in the pot has reduced enough by directly using the ruler or, dipping the clean spoon and then measuring the liquid line on the spoon using the ruler. Plenty of folks just eyeball things and do fine, others feel more confident with clear units of measure. I am often sidetracked so, having a clear measurement for a project like this is really helpful to me.

Kitchen tip - In a recipe that calls for both honey and oil, measure the oil first, allow it to coat the measuring cup, then measure the honey. The honey will easily slip out of the measuring cup into the recipe, every last drop!

How to make, Tamarind Paste

You will need:
Large sauce pan
Sieve (large enough to hold 3 cups would be great!)
large bowl
Metal spoon

1 lbs. tamarind (see photo above - Tamarind can befound in Ethnic groceries, especially those that carry Indian and Middle Eastern foods or a small Indian grocery/spice store
2 cups boiling water


Place the "bean block" into a clean sauce pan (make sure you have extra room in the pan after placing the "bean block" and the water into it)
Pour boiling water over the "bean block", cover and soak for about 20 minutes, covering the pan may help it to soften.
Once it has cooled a bit, break up the block, I used a clean hand to break it up once it had cooled enough to be tolerable.
Add extra water if needed to soften and separate the block.
You should notice the water becoming a deep shade of brown and thickening. If not, try simmering the mixture for a few minutes, them mash it around with the back of a spoon a bit to develop the bean sauce.

Move the contents of the pan into the sieve that is sitting over the stable, heat proof, bowl. Once again use a spoon to stir the contents of the sieve to coax all the sauce out, away from the beans and into the bowl. Cool.

Once this has cooled, you can measure out the amount needed for the 'Worcestershire sauce recipe and place the rest into ice cube trays, freezing for later use. Make sure to remove the tamarind cubes from the trays, and place into a zip lock bag (well labeled) for long term storage.

I hope this recipe makes cooking in your allergy free kitchen more pleasant!

Special thanks to Dorothy for editing the content and improving this article/recipe!

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