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The Hirshon British Brown Sauce

The Hirshon British Brown Sauce

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4.5 from 2 reviews


Units Scale
  • 720ml malt vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mustard powder
  • 200ml water
  • 2 tbsp black treacle
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp Muscovado sugar
  • 5 scant tsp. flour
  • 3 tbsp tamarind pulp
  • 3 heirloom tomatoes, chopped
  • 20g dates, chopped
  • 40g Branston Pickle (TFD addition), pureed or use chopped dates
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp freshly-grated ginger
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 6 allspice berries
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • pinch of turmeric
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 star anise
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 5 Juniper berries
  • a little oil for frying
  • 1 tsp. Gentleman’s Relish (preferred) or anchovy paste (TFD addition) – optional


  1. Begin by preparing the tomatoes. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score a cross in the base of each tomato. Blanch carefully in boiling water, immediately plunging into ice water to cool (this process should loosen the skins of the tomatoes). Peel and deseed the tomatoes, then chop the flesh into chunks and set to one side.
  2. Toast whole spices in a dry skillet until fragrant, then lightly crack them. Put into a cheesecloth with bay leaves and tie into a bag.
  3. Add the oil and Gentleman’s Relish (or anchovy paste) to a pan and use to fry the shallots until softened (about 6 minutes) then add the tomatoes and dates and cook for 4 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to release their juice. Add the water, tamarind pulp and spice bag and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes. Take off the heat and set aside until cold.
  4. Pass the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Return this liquid to a pan and whisk-in all the remaining ingredients (except the vinegar, sugar and treacle). Bring to a boil over medium heat then stir-in the vinegar, treacle and sugar. Return to a boil and continue boiling, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring all the while.
  5. Take off the heat and allow to cool a little, remove bag of spices. Then use an immersion blender and blitz until smooth, adjusting the seasoning to taste. Pass through a fine sieve into a clean jar and set aside to cool. Then pour into a bottle that’s been sterilized and heated in an oven pre-heated to 120°C for 10 minutes. Securely seal the bottle then set aside to cool. Allow to mature in a cool cupboard for at least 3 weeks before using. Store in the refrigerator once opened.
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