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The Ultimate Brown Sauce Recipe: How to Make the Famous Condiment from English Pubs

Updated: Jul 12, 2023

Pub culture is an important part of life in England. A pub is a place where people gather to socialize, drink, and enjoy good food. And when it comes to the food, one of the most popular items on the pub menu is fish and chips. But what makes this dish so special? The answer is simple – it's the brown sauce that accompanies it!

Brown sauce

Brown sauce is a tangy, savory sauce that's a staple in many English households. I had expected to find malt vinegar and may for "chips" (fries, in American), but didn't expect this tasty condiment. Since I started my travels in the UK, I've been adding this sauce to everything! In today's post, I'm going to share a recipe for this quintessential sauce that you can make in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Brown sauce is a popular condiment in England, but it's also enjoyed in many other countries, including Canada, Ireland, and Australia. Each country has its own unique take on the sauce. In Canada, brown sauce is often called "HP Sauce" after the brand that produces it. In Ireland, it's known as "Chef Sauce," and in Australia, it's "Fruit Sauce" due to its sweet and fruity flavor. If you don't live in these countries, you might find this tasty condiment at some specialty grocery stores, but let us show you how you can make it yourself at home.


  • 2 onions, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 cup of water

  • 1 cup of ketchup

  • 1/2 cup of malt vinegar

  • 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar

  • 2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 tsp of mustard powder

  • 1 tsp of smoked paprika

  • 1/2 tsp of ground allspice

  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the onions and garlic until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

  2. Add the water, ketchup, malt vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, smoked paprika, allspice, salt, and pepper to the saucepan.

  3. Stir until everything is combined, then bring the mixture to a boil.

  4. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  5. After 30 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.

  6. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, blend the sauce until it is smooth.

  7. Once the sauce is blended, pour it back into the saucepan and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.

  8. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

  9. Once the sauce is done, let it cool completely before transferring it to a jar or bottle.

This brown sauce recipe is perfect for adding flavor to your favorite dishes. It's great on fish and chips, but it's also delicious on burgers, steak, and even roasted vegetables. So why not give this recipe a try and add a little bit of England to your next meal? And don't forget to explore the different variations of brown sauce in other countries – you never know what tasty surprises you might discover!

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