Worcestershire Steak Sauce Is So Easy To Make You Only Need One Ingredient

As with most things in the foodie sphere, there are plenty of opinions about steak sauce, including which brand does it best and what flavors should dominate the sauce. In the U.S. what we think of as steak sauce is typically a thick brown concoction with a balance of sweetness and vinegary tang, flavored with garlic, pepper, and spices. The list of ingredients varies between brands but usually includes Worcestershire sauce — that other, dark brown sauce that adds a bold dash of flavor to recipes like Bloody Marys and homemade Chex mix.

In a recent trend, clever cooks have taken to the internet to assert that not only is Worcestershire sauce a key ingredient to a really good steak sauce, but it can also be the sole ingredient in a really good steak sauce. How is this possible? Easy. Just add some heat. Worcestershire sauce straight from the bottle is quite a thin liquid, but when you simmer it, with nothing else added, it condenses into a thick, slightly sticky sauce with plenty of flavors for your meat.

Here's why this Worcestershire sauce hack works

Along with Worcestershire, bottled steak sauces use a long list of flavor-building ingredients including vinegar, something sweet such as dried fruit or corn syrup, aromatics, and spices. But here's the thing: Worcestershire sauce alone also contains these core flavorings. It has sweetness from molasses and tamarind. Garlic and onion are the aromatics of choice, and anchovies give Worcestershire a rich, umami flavor. The problem with Worcestershire sauce is that it comes out of the bottle like water; it doesn't have the thick consistency of steak sauce to help it cling to every bite of cooked meat. 

That's why this hack of simmering Worcestershire into a steak sauce is so ingenious. As it cooks, water boils out and the sauce reduces. Molasses and sweet tamarind are beautifully caramelized over the heat. After only ten minutes of simmering, the watery Worcestershire sauce is transformed into a thick and syrupy steak sauce with a deep, salty, concentrated flavor. The vinegar tang is still there, but not as in-your-face intense as in the raw sauce. 

Cook down a whole bottle of Worcestershire to make this Worcestershire steak sauce; then keep it in the fridge so you'll always have some on hand to add intense flavor to everything from T-bones to kabobs to roasted veggies.