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Blighty's Brown Sauce Recipe

This week I set out to make my own HP Sauce. The original recipe is a commercial secret but many have tried to copy the flavour. There are a lot of "HP Sauce" recipes available on the Internet and I doubt if any of them are authentic. Nonetheless, it is fairly easy to make a decent brown "ketchup" style sauce. I didn't want to join the bandwagon of HP imitators so I gave mine an honest name: Blighty's Brown Sauce.

The real HP Sauce was first made by a grocer in Nottingham in the late nineteenth century. He called it "HP" because he had heard that his product was being used in the Houses of Parliament in London. A picture of the Houses of Parliament has been on the label for many years. Sadly, HP Sauce is now made in the Netherlands but still retains its distinctly British reputation.

HP Sauce is a great accompaniment to hot or cold meat. For that reason I made a tomato-based ketchup with a spiced beef flavour. Here is how I did it.

  • 4 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons Lyles Black Treacle
  • 3 Oxo cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar

  • Put all the ingredients into a large saucepan
  • Bring to the boil then simmer for one hour
  • Allow to cool then use a blender to make sure the sauce has a smooth texture

John's Notes
I made enough very tasty brown sauce to fill about four or five HP bottles for a fraction of the cost of the real thing. But did I achieve the same flavour as the original? To be honest, no; but I did produce an inexpensive brown sauce that is every bit as good as HP.


  1. John.... four or five hp bottles worth... what would be the shelf life on it?

  2. Thanks for the question. There are no artificial preservatives in this home-made recipe so it should be packaged in air-tight jars or bottles. Opened bottles should be refrigerated.