Home-Made Heinz 57 Sauce

August 13, 2014: Unlike "copycat" versions of this "home-made" recipe for Heinz 57 sauce (a sweet, tangy steak and BBQ sauce), mine is based on the ingredients used in the original, proven by a year of cooking and taste-testing. I use home-grown ingredients where possible. Notes and variations follow the basic recipe.

Makes 4-6 cups (depending on how thick you cook it down).


1/2 c. raisins (sultana or Thompson) or dates (or any combination, to taste)
1/2 c. water
2 c. (generous) tomato paste
2 c. malt vinegar
2 c. white grain vinegar
2 c. sugar (I use coconut palm or muscovado sugar)
6 Tbsp. applesauce (or fresh apple or apple juice/cider)
1 Tbsp. Diamond pickling salt
2 Tbsp. tamarind (I recommend Tamicon)
1 tsp. onion powder (or fresh onion† to taste, puréed)
1-3 cloves garlic, puréed (about 1 Tbsp. garlic purée)
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground chilli (mild, medium, or hot, to taste)
(optional) pinch of cayenne pepper (to taste)
(optional) pinch of celery seed
(optional) 1/8 tsp. ground oregano
1/2 - 1 c. water
2 Tbsp. dry mustard


To prevent lumps, use blender for dry ingredient that may be slow to dissolve (onion powder, turmeric, mustard. Blend with sauce or any of the liquid ingredient.

Tamicon tamarind paste is 100% tamarind with seed and skin removed and with no salt added. It is made for cooking straight from the jar.

The main feature of this sauce is the sweet-sour tang. It is not meant to be hot. I use chili (whole or ground) that is just spicy enough to make it interesting. My version is like a spicy ketchup or marinade or BBQ sauce, much like Heinz 57. You can use more chili, hotter chilis, more chilis, Jalapeno, Worcestershire, more cayenne, all to taste.  


Combine in blender or food processor: raisins/dates with first 1/2 cup water. Blend until smooth (about 1 minute).

In a saucepan, combine the raisin purée with all other ingredients, except for the last water and the dry mustard. Blend thoroughly. Adjust spices to taste. On medium heat, bring slowly to boil. Simmer uncovered until thick (about 30-60 minutes). I use a tall stock pot to reduce splashing.

Once thick, add a purée of the dry mustard with just enough water to liquefy it. Combine.

Ladle while hot into sterilized jars. Allow to cool. Cover. Refrigerate. At your own risk: I use 1/2-pint (1 cup) preserve jars, 20 minutes in hot water bath, and store sauce on shelf until opened.

† Home-grown right here! (In this recipe: onion, tomato, sweet and chilli pepper, garlic)