Friday 13 May 2022

Make Authentic Homemade HP Brown Sauce at home

The original recipe for HP Sauce was invented and developed by Frederick Gibson Garton, a grocer from Nottingham. He registered the name H.P. Sauce in 1895. Garton called the sauce HP because he had heard that a restaurant in the Houses of Parliament had begun serving it. For many years the bottle labels have carried a picture of the Houses of Parliament. Garton sold the recipe and HP brand for the sum of £150 and the settlement of some unpaid bills to Edwin Samson Moore. Moore, the founder of the Midlands Vinegar Company (the forerunner of HP Foods) subsequently launched HP Sauce in 1903.

HP Sauce became known as "Wilson's gravy" in the 1960s and 1970s after Harold Wilson, the Labour Prime Minister. The name arose after Wilson's wife, Mary, gave an interview to The Sunday Times in which she claimed "If Harold has a fault, it is that he will drown everything with HP Sauce".

Prep time: 25 mins

Cook time: 1 hour 40 mins

Total time: 2 hours 5 mins

Makes : 1 litre +

HP Sauce is to the British what Ketchup is to the Americans. It took years to create this clone, it's original, and it's it's pretty near perfect in my humble opinion. Try it for yourself. Recipe volume can be increased 4 times without effecting the flavour. The best home made HP sauce. Add a scotch bonnet chilli to spice it up.


150 ml water

250 ml white wine vinegar

300ml cider vinegar

2 small cans / tubes tomato paste

4 apples

3 small red onions

250 ml orange juice

250 ml apple juice

1 clove garlic

1 jar approx 300ml tamarind

1/4 cup pitted dates (chopped fine)

1/4 cup prunes

3 tablespoons black treacle

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon whole cloves

1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon cardamom (ground)

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

3/4 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder


Rough chop 4 apples and 3 small red onions

Fine chop 1 clove of garlic

In a large pot, add the water, white wine vinegar, tomato paste, apple juice, orange juice, dates, prunes, black treacle, tamarind, garlic, apples and red onions.

Stir to blend.

Over medium heat and covered, bring mixture to a boil.

Reduce heat to a slow simmer and simmer covered for 25 - 30 minutes.

Using a spice grinder, thoroughly grind cloves, black peppercorns, cardamom, mustard seed, cayenne, salt, and cinnamon and allspice.

After simmering in step #1, use an immersion Blender to puree mixture and reduce lumps.

Add ground spice mixture to pot, stir to blend and simmer (covered) for another 30 - 45 minutes.

Add cider vinegar to pot, stir to blend and return to a simmer.

Simmer until thick.

Put a small amount of water into jars / bottle and heat until water is steaming either in an oven or in the microwave, to sterilise the bottles.Poor water out before using.

Ladle hot sauce mixture into hot, prepared sealable bottles and seal.

Allow to cool.

Combine ingredients in a large non stick pot


  1. This is exactly how to do something. Well done and thank you for sharing.

  2. I made this last year and it was great. I omitted the tamarind although wife informed me that you can buy it anywhere here in Thailand. I think I increased the vinegar to compensate and added some black molasses for colour. I took some to my local bar to get an opinion, which was that it tasted more like Daddy's sauce, and I had to agree. I liked it very much but next time will adhere to your recipe.Thanks for a good recipe.

  3. Goodness me, what a wonderful surprise. I live in the north of Portugal, no brown sauce to be found. No need to look anymore, this is just delightful. For the same reason I make my own Melton Mobray pork pies and the two go together so well. Thanks for a great recipe

  4. I'm very excited to find this, but a bit confused: why is cider vinegar mentioned twice in the recipe, but only once in the method. (And what's the difference between ordinary cider vinegar and apple cider vinegar?!).
    Can't wait to try it out!

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  6. Yes, I too would love an explanatory response to Victoria's question, above. No problem, just need clarification... Would love to make this, as Husband is addicted to HP! If I can make him an authentic substitute, it would be a wonderful thing!

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  9. Making first batch of this now, so hoping for a good result. In addition to the above question about the vinegar, I've got another one:

    Ingredients mentions onion powder, but that isn't mentioned in instructions. Instructions mentions cayenne, but that isn't mentioned in ingredients. Please can you clarify.

  10. Thanks for the recipe, I can't wait to try it.

    Is it possible you could be a bit more precise with the measurements? At the start the white wine vinegar is in ml then later the cider vinegar is a quarter cup. Is that a US cup, how big a cup?

    Also the tomato paste, I've only ever seen it in tubes, about the size of a toothpaste tube. That seems quite large, do I still need 2 of those?

    I don't think I have OCD, but I don't have any feel for this sort of things, when I improvise and guess it tends to go horrible.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  11. I can't wait to try this as well. Do the apples need to be peeled?

  12. Any chance the author can clarify the questions above.. maybe go over the recipe and remove or add where necessary.. Cheers

  13. Thank you so much for the recipe. Can't understand why great tasting things are being messed around with and mp's allow it to happen.

  14. Nice procedure to make the sauce. Thank you for sharing this post.Multi-Tier Conveyor allow the option to expand the conveyor line upward.Perfect for delivery and take-away systems or inspection systems, unfinished or uninspected packages can be delivered on one conveyor, then placed on another conveyor when finished.

  15. I'm excited to try this -- after spending 3 weeks in the UK and liberally applying HP sauce to my breakfast, not having it back in the US feels like a crime.

  16. I live in Zimbabwe and HP has not been seen on the supermarket shelves for years. I bought some when I was in the UK in October. I have just finished making this and it is amazingly good. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  17. This recipe looks great and appears to be the most accurate I've seen for "HP sauce".
    One oversight however, The instructions read: "Using a spice grinder, ... cardamom, mustard seed, cayenne" ???
    Cayenne is an ingredient but the "Ingredients" does not list cayenne. How much cayenne should be used?
    Thx. John

  18. AS you all must have noticed, the person who published this recipe about 2013, must have passed away just after! No replies! I had made a similar recipe and it almost come to match HP sauce, still taste very good though.