Make Ahead

Jose Mae's Hoppin' Good Steak Sauce

August 23, 2010
3 Ratings
  • Serves 3/4 cup
Author Notes

This recipe has made its way around the kitchen a couple of times before ending up as it is today. I used to be a home brewer and would also make wine. I wanted to make spirits but there wasn't much info on stills back then, being the early 1990's, but I stumbled onto a book called "Secrets of the Still" by Grace Firth. In this book she has all kinds of stuff about anything fermented, from tempeh to herbal remedies. It is an interesting book filled with all kinds of tidbits but it does not contain a lot of recipes. Fortunately she has one for steak sauce. I made it and then started playing with it to come up with a recipe of my own. Not that long ago I saw a different version in Saveur Magazine(issue #103) using the Secrets of the Still version and was surprised at how close it was to mine. I have been tinkering ever since and think I now have a version we can call Jose Mae's. I like to name things after my daughters and Jose is the perfect name for this because she likes to dip her food. She is my taste tester because if she likes something she hops around the room saying "mmmmmmmm". She is two and she will eat anything spicy and I am amazed it does not bother her. —thirschfeld

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/4 cups Currant flavored vodka, or plain vodka
  • 3 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 dried shiitakes, about 1 1/2 inches round
  • 1 dried guajillo chile, stemmed, seeded and torn into pieces
  • 1/4 cup Hengstenberg 13 Krauter Essig Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup organic soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup garlic slices
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup strained tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
  1. Place two small mixing bowls onto a counter top. In one bowl place the vodka, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, shiitakes and guajillo chile. In the second bowl combine the red wine vinegar, Hengstenberg vinegar, soy sauce and garlic. Cover both bowls with plastic wrap and let them sit over night.
  2. The next day remove the shiitakes from the bowl and squeeze the the juice from them back into the bowl.
  3. Place a small sauce pan over medium high heat and add the red wine and brown sugar. Boil until you have a syrup. Remove from the heat, please do this you are getting ready to pour straight vodka into a hot pan and I want you to keep your eyebrows. Then add the ingredients from both bowls, the strained tomatoes and tamarind concentrate. Place the sauce pan back on the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer and reduce until it is thick and it will coat the back of a spoon. Don't be tempted to hurry the reduction process. If this sauce boils to hard it will scorch. Strain the sauce. You should have 3/4 to 1 cup of sauce, it should be the viscosity of syrup. Place into a bottle, cool and serve. Can be kept a couple of months in the fridge.
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  • SallyCan
  • Sagegreen
  • AntoniaJames
  • thirschfeld

10 Reviews

SallyCan October 27, 2010
This has become a staple in our house~no other steak sauce will do! I took some pictures; would you like them?
thirschfeld October 27, 2010
Thanks SallyCan. It is a staple around here as well. I think you can post pictures right here on the recipe page. That would be great.
SallyCan August 27, 2010
I made this yesterday, and it is fantastic! I used cherry vodka, and had to substitute white balsamic vinegar for the German vinegar, though. The vodka soaked mushrooms were delicious sliced and sauteed in butter. Next time I think I'll put the allspice, cloves and cinnamon in cheesecloth so that the garlic is easier to retrieve to put to other use. Thanks for another great recipe. Cool picture too.
AntoniaJames August 29, 2010
Love hearing about your adaptations to this, Sally . . . Cherry vodka! How fun!! I'd be hopping around just like Jose!! ;o)
Sagegreen August 23, 2010
What not to love about this one!
thirschfeld August 23, 2010
thanks Sagegreen
AntoniaJames August 23, 2010
Best headnote ever. Love the recipe, too. I'm confident that if Jose likes this so much that it makes her hop, I will too. In fact, I'll do a little of hopping of my own, in her honor. I seriously cannot wait to try this.Wondering where I can find Hengstenberg 13 Krauter Essig Vinegar. That's a first for me. As always, thanks for posting this. ;o)
thirschfeld August 23, 2010
A German deli or food market should have it. It is an herbal vinegar.
AntoniaJames August 23, 2010
Hmmm. I live right next to the most diverse city in the US (Oakland, where there are over 125 different languages and dialects spoken) but I don't remember ever seeing a German deli . . . it will be fun trying to find this!!
thirschfeld August 23, 2010 for more info and I have also seen it in regular groceries that have good ethnic sections