Wheat-free * Dairy-free * Gluten-free * Vegetarian * Vegan * Parve * Paleo~~~
I’ll confess I’ve been using Lea & Perrins® Worcestershire sauce even though it’s not strictly paleo (because it contains sugar – definitely not paleo and molasses – most probably not paleo). I figure the one drop I use in my Bloody Mary mix or tuna salad will not seriously impact my paleo life. However, when I’m writing recipes for paleo readers; the integrity of the recipe should be maintained using strictest paleo standards. When I decided to make paleo barbecue sauce (coming to this blog on Tuesday), I wanted to use a fairly good amount of Worcestershire and just omitting it would diminish the flavor profile significantly.
So, I did what I usually do…I googled “paleo Worcestershire sauce.” Why reinvent the wheel if someone has already done the work? Frankly, none of the recipes (and there are many) fit my definition of Worcestershire sauce. They all seemed to use coconut aminos + spices – and in some cases that’s about all. Others included ingredients like mustard, tomato sauce or paste, orange juice, and sometimes even molasses. Not good enough for me!
It made sense to me to start with the ingredients on the Worcestershire label: white vinegar, (skip the molasses and sugar), water, salt, onions, anchovies, garlic, cloves, tamarind (a fruit that is very tart, usually found dried in a “cake” or made into a concentrate), chili pepper. I used some ingredients to add depth to the flavor like the balsamic vinegar and ume plum vinegar and used a little maple syrup to replace the sugar and molasses.
I kept the yield small (1/4 cup) as I think most people probably use even less than 1 teaspoon at a time and I’m not sure about how long it will keep. Since none of the ingredients are particularly perishable and the vinegar and salt are preservatives, I’m suggesting it can keep 2 weeks, but truly – I will be using it longer.
Here is the result – and I think it’s pretty terrific.
Paleo Worcestershire Sauce Better than Lea & Perrins®
If you don’t have anchovy paste, you can use 1/2 of a canned anchovy. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you can substitute 1/2 of a sun-dried tomato for the anchovy.
3 tablespoons boiling water
1 teaspoon dried tamarind or tamarind concentrate (look for it in ethnic markets)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ume plum vinegar or additional white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste or sun-dried tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon grated onion (use the fine side of the grater)
Pinch ground clove
Sprinkle of garlic powder
Dash hot sauce or to taste
In a mini processor or the mini processor attachment of your immersion blender (you did buy one…right?) or blender container, combine the boiling water and tamarind. Let stand 2 minutes to soften the tamarind. Process until completely combined.
Add the remaining ingredients; process until completely combined.
Store in covered container in the refrigerator for two weeks.
Makes: scant 1/4 cup