Worcestershire sauce was brought to the commercial market by John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, two chemists (pharmacists) who formed the company, Lea & Perrins in the city of Worcester, in Worcestershire, England. Theirs was the first to bear the name “Worcestershire”; they sold their first commercial bottle in 1837. The original ingredients included tamarind, vinegar, anchovies and most assuredly asafoetida, a smelly little spice virtually unknown to the West at the time. According to the company, the sauce came from “the recipe of a nobleman in the county”, Lord Marcus Sandys, the ex-Governor of Bengal who tasted the sauce while dining with friends in India. The story goes that when Lea & Perrins first mixed the recipe together it was too strong and unpalatable so they left it stored in a barrel in the basement. A few years later they rediscovered it, tasted it again and loved it - it had naturally fermented and had become quite tasty.
Asafoetida is commonly used in the East and especially in India where it’s known as Hing. Indian chefs and home cooks have truly mastered the “art of hing”. A large swath of their population has been vegetarian for thousands of years, so it’s highly likely the original sauce encountered by Lord Marcus Sandys was a vegetarian version containing hing which would later be replaced in the West by onions and anchovies.
Although Lea & Perrin’s was the first sauce to be called “Worcestershire”, they don’t own a trademark on the name so anybody can make their own version and call it by the same name. At Pure Indian Foods, we wanted to create our version of Worcestershire sauce with healthy, organic ingredients suitable for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. We went back to the basics, adding organic tamarind paste, replacing the sugar with rich, luscious jaggery, adding organic vinegar and of course, a touch of hing which adds its own unique “umami” and replaces onions and anchovies.
Worcestershire sauce is ideal for enhancing a variety of foods and even beverages. Here how you can use it in your cooking:
- Add to Caesar salad dressing and other creamy or vinegary dressings
- Add to melted cheese dip
- Add to bean dips and spreads
- Season beef stew and chili
- Add a dash to mashed potatoes
- Make your own spicy cocktails
- Use it as a marinade for a variety of red meats, poultry, fish and shellfish, tofu and tempeh
- Add to bean soups, noodle soups and broth
- Great with just about any savory stew
- Season a pot of cooking grain with just a small splash
- Combine with melted ghee or garlic ghee – use as a basting sauce just like my mom
- Add a splash to cheese sauce, pizza sauce and pasta sauce
- Try it with tarter, barbeque, shrimp-cocktail, hollandaise and other favorite sauces
- Add to beef and turkey burgers
- Great in gravy
- Add to stir fries and sautés
- Makes great scrambled eggs and omelets
- Good in meat-and-vegetable marinades and basting sauces
- Really good with sloppy joes
- Don’t forget to add to meatloaf
- Also yummy in a lentil loaf
- Mix with ghee or almond oil, toss with vegetables and roast in the oven
- Baste a turkey or roast chicken, chops, steaks, etc.
If you enjoy a cocktail, these spicy drinks are made with Worcestershire sauce:
- Caesar – made with vodka, tomato juice, hot sauce and Worcestershire
- Bloody Mary – made with vodka, tomato and lemon juices, hot sauce, horseradish and Worcestershire
- Hot and Stormy – made with tequila, ginger beer, pineapple and lime juices, agave syrup, hot sauce and Worcestershire
- Michelada – made with beer, lime juice, habanero sauce, soy sauce, hot sauce and Worcestershire.
- Krakatoa – made with light and dark rum, simple syrup and lime juice, hot sauce and Worcestershire
Organic Vinegar, Organic Jaggery, Water, Organic Tamarind Paste, Organic Garlic, Organic Black Pepper, Organic Allspice, Organic Ginger, Sea Salt, Organic Cayenne Pepper, Organic Cloves, Hing (Asafoetida Powder)*, Organic Nutmeg.