Homemade browning sauce – the essential multipurpose pantry staple condiment which is used in a number of Caribbean recipes.
Browning sauce is probably one of the most important ingredients you’ll ever encounter in Caribbean cooking. Seriously, I mean if you’ve ever browsed the pantry of an Islander you’re guaranteed to find a stash of this stuff.
Of course my family were the same, we always had some browning in the pantry, my mother wouldn’t have it any other way. As a young woman, who was reared by both my mother and grandmother, I still to this day like to whip out the browning when cooking some Island food.
The best thing I could have done for myself was start making my own brown sauce from scratch. It’s a zillions times cheaper doing it yourself and very VERY easy to make.
What is exactly is homemade browning sauce?
I’m sure you’re probably wondering what’s so special about browning sauce? I just read your mind, you see it’s traditionally used to create an enriched deep colour hence the name.
Browning creates the most amazing dark brown hue I’ve ever seen in the culinary world, it’s my key ingredient.
When is homemade browning sauce used?
Caribbean people add this is stewed meat, gravy and even extend it to baking the infamous black cake during the festive season.
Browning is essentially charred brown sugar, more noted for it’s strong hue rather than it’s nutritionally value.
Unlike the store brought kind, my recipe is completely unadulterated and free from additives and preservatives.
Please note that the flavour of the sauce is slightly smokey from charring the sugar. The longer you allow the sugar to burn the smokier the flavour and deeper the colour.
I decided to add some himalayan pink salt once liquidised to balance out that smokiness.
Add this one to your gravy, stews or whatever you need to enrich….go on I dare you!
I’ve updated the post with a few progress so you have an idea of what to expect. Again! please DO NOT use cold water as this will ruin the recipe because the sugar will harden and not dissolve.
Notes and tips
- Use hot water to dissolve the sugar NEVER cold.
- Be very careful when adding the hot water as the sugar may splutter
- Store in the refrigerator for several months to over a year once chilled.
Homemade browning sauce recipe
- 2 cups of coconut palm sugar
- 1 cup of hot water
- 2 tsp of himalayan pink salt
- Add the sugar to a saucepan and turn on medium heat.
- Use a wooden spoon or spatula and begin to slowly stir. The sugar will start to dissolve and turn into a syrup consistency while darkening.
- If the sugars begin to smoke too quickly then reduce the flame or switch off the stove and continue to stir while charring the sugar.
- Once the sugar darkens to a dark brown almost black in colour remove from the stove and carefully add the hot water. The saucepan will yield plenty of steam and splutter which is normal but please be very careful when following this step and add the water slowly - keep on stirring the pan.
- Once the sauce is formed, allow to cool before adding the pink salt and pouring into a sauce bottle.