Friday, May 23, 2014

Fancy British "Pub Sauce"

Well, now that BBQ season is officially underway, it seems like everyone is itching for the best new burger recipe, cooking method, marinade or sauce. Funny enough, even when I did eat meat, I hated stuff "grilled" (AKA charred) on our backyard 'que. In fact, the only grilled stuff I ate willingly were hot dogs and foil-wrapped pizza pockets made on our rickety old mini-grill on the back of our sailboat. Over the years my mom pretty much gave up the grilling ghost, but my dad seems to have honed his skills and now makes to-die-for potatoes, corn, steaks and even pizza in his propane contraption, not to mention non-blackened steaks and even melt-in-your-mouth fish.
Fancy Brit-Pub Steak Sauce
Regardless of your personal preference when it comes to grilled fare, it never hurts to have a killer sauce alongside it. The right condiment can elevate even the cheapest cut of meat and enhance vegetables from the traditional portabella cap to tofu, slabs of sweet potatoes, romaine hearts and eggplant steaks. Over the summer months, I go through far more BBQ and "steak" sauce than I care to admit to!

My love for the thick, dark condiment is what piqued my interest in creating my own. Last year at the end of BBQ season, I found this recipe in Chatelaine, and saved it to ring in the new year's summer menu. I finally got around to cracking open my jar, and let me tell you it is better than any fancy-schmancy, $10 a bottle gourmet sauce, and you get a lot more bang for your buck than with the finishing "drizzles" you get at high-end steakhouses. Not only that, but the blend of vinegars, port and Worcestershire is heavenly on all sorts of vegetables (grilled, roasted or sauteed), French fries, fish (battered, breaded or plain-jane grilled) and can even add that je ne sais quoi to steamed rice, pasta salads and savoury baked beans.

Fancy British "Pub Sauce"
Makes 2 cups, 16 (2-tbsp) servings
1 cup balsamic vinegar (don't use anything too high end, since you're reducing it)
½ cup malt vinegar
⅓ cup Worcestershire sauce (or vegan Worcestershire i.e. Wizard's)
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tsp onion powder
½ tsp hot mustard powder
½ tsp sea salt
¼ cup port wine
  1. Boil balsamic vinegar in a large, wide saucepan over high until reduced by half.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to the pan and continue to cook, whisking, until reduced to 2 cups (this can take between 10 and 20 minutes).
  3. Can in a waterbath for 15 minutes or pour into a bottle, cool completely and keep in the fridge up to 3 months.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 29.8
Total Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 218.1 mg
Total Carbs: 6.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
Protein: 0.6 g