Brown sauce

This article is about the common British and Irish condiment. For the meat stock based sauce, see Brown sauce (meat stock based). For other uses, see Brown sauce (disambiguation).

Brown sauce is a traditional condiment served with food in the United Kingdom and Ireland, normally dark brown in colour. The ingredients include a varying combination of tomatoes, molasses, dates, apples, tamarind, spices, vinegar, and sometimes raisins or anchovies. The taste is either tart or sweet with a peppery taste similar to that of Worcestershire sauce. It is similar to brown sauce marketed as steak sauce in the United States.

Brown sauce is traditionally eaten with meals and dishes such as full breakfasts, bacon sandwiches, chips, and baked beans. The best known brown sauce is HP Sauce, a spicy and tangy variety. Other manufacturers of brown sauce include Daddies and OK Sauce.

A combination of spirit vinegar (or water) and brown sauce, known simply as "sauce" or "chippy sauce", is popular on fish and chips throughout Scotland and other parts of the UK.[1]

A recipe for "sauce for steaks," composed of ale, wine, ketchup, pepper and butter, appeared in an 1862 cookbook published in London.[2]

Common brands

HP Sauce is the most popular brown sauce in the UK, accounting for around 75% of value sales in the UK.[3] In some regions of the UK, Daddies is also a very popular sauce, especially in the Midlands and Wales.[4]

Chef and YR Sauce are popular brown sauce brands in Ireland. While YR stands for Yorkshire Relish, the sauce has been produced in Ireland since 1933 and is currently manufactured in County Donegal, by Robert Roberts.

Most supermarket chains in the UK and Ireland also stock their own brand of brown sauce. As with other condiments like ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard, brown sauce is widely available in catering sachets and dispenser bottles in restaurants.

See also


  1. "Chippie Sauce",
  2. The Practical Family Cookery Book. London: Ward & Lock. 1862. p. 56.
  3. IRI, June 2006
  4. IRI, March 2007
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