Homemade Steak Sauce
Steak sauce as we know it—dark, sweet, and tangy with aromatic spices—is a British invention. In fact, A.1. Steak Sauce, the condiment of choice for many American steak lovers, was invented by Henderson William Brand, the cook to King George IV in the 1820s. This homemade variety is based on one in Secrets of the Still by Grace Firth (EPM, 1983). Put 1⁄2 cup vodka, 2 tsp. crushed whole allspice, 2 tsp. crushed cinnamon stick, and 10 crushed whole cloves into a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; let sit at room temperature for 8 hours. Strain vodka mixture; set aside. Put 1⁄2 cup red wine vinegar, 1⁄2 cup soy sauce, 2 tsp. hot sauce, and 4 crushed cloves garlic into a bowl; set aside. Roughly grate 4 cored and quartered medium tomatoes; discard skins. Scrape tomatoes through a sieve to make 1 cup tomato pulp; set aside. Cook 1⁄4 cup sugar and 6 tbsp. red wine vinegar in a skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, to make a deep brown caramel, 6–7 minutes. Carefully stir in tomato pulp. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thick, 4–5 minutes. Remove and discard garlic from soy sauce mixture, then add mixture to skillet. Bring to a boil, add 1⁄4 cup tamarind pulp along with vodka mixture, and cook until thickened, 10–12 minutes. Refrigerate for up to 2 months. Makes about 1 cup.