Houses of Parliament Steak Sauce

Posted by liz at Recipe Goldmine May 25, 2001

Source: Rene Stewart (as altered by Marion Wyse)

HP stands for Houses of Parliament. It's an English steak sauce but infinitely better than any other. I don't use it on steak, but it's great on ham, bologna, etc. Anyway, someone once sent me a "recipe" for it but aside from being extraordinarily complicated, the ingredients just don't sound right. HP contains dates, tamarinds and other exotic things. This calls for apples and plums which I don't think are part of the original formulation. Anyway, here's what I have:

This one you have to plan on taking 2 days - maybe 3 if you use frozen fruit. It is, however, a cherished gift to bring to any dinner invitation you receive! It goes best, of course, with beef (my boss would be sooo happy to hear me say that!). If you're gonna do it, make lots (that's my philosophy) as you'll be glad you did. Last year I got 13 pints using fresh fruit and 16 pints when I used the frozen stuff. I ran all the fruit and vegetables through the slicer on the food processor and that cuts down your preparation time.

Ingredients required for Day 1:
2 large and 4 medium purple onions (I prefer to use
    Spanish or Walla Walla but couldn't find 'em)
24 cups sliced apples
24 cups sliced plums (Italian prune plums are best -
    big firm juicy ones)

Ingredients required for Day 2:
Sieved fruit
8 teaspoons ginger
9 teaspoons allspice
3/4 cup pickling salt
6 teaspoons nutmeg
3 teaspoons cayenne
    (Note: all teaspoons of spice
    are well rounded)
9 cups granulated sugar
15 cups cider vinegar

Method - Day 1:
I skin and slice the onions first, then I sweat them in large kettle as I would if making onion soup (that is cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes, then reduce heat to as low as it will go and let "sweat" until all other ingredients are ready, i.e. 1 to 1 1/2 hours). The apples I core and remove pits, wormholes (but don't peel), and the plums just pit and remove "scabs". Then through the food processor, measure and dump in VERY LARGE KETTLE. Add sweated onions to apple/plum mixture, bring to boil and simmer for 6 to 8 hours, or until vegetables and fruit are complete mush and can be sieved.

Allow to cool awhile, then I run it through the food processor again, then through the sieve which I set in VERY LARGE stainless steel bowl. I dump the sieved fruit into a container that will be large enough to hold it and can store overnight (preferably in refrigerator) - I've used 2 separate containers when necessary.

Method - Day 2:
Put sieved fruit in VERY LARGE KETTLE, add spices, sugar and vinegar, bring to boil and simmer until thick. This can take a very long while and you must be careful that it doesn't scorch (tricky). When I used the frozen fruit I omitted the sugar while I boiled it down and added it later once the fruit mixture was reduced by about one-half. You must bring it back to the boil carefully when you do this as the sugar will sink to the bottom - you must continue to stir for about 15 minutes or so when you do it this way. Then you prepare jars, soften lids, fill jars and process as in salsa and chutney recipes. Easy!