I’m a label reader from way back, and I’ve always been particularly fascinated by steak sauce labels.  They have the craziest laundry lists of ingredients ranging from molasses and pureed whole orange, to tamarind, clove, and dates. I’ve wanted to try to make my own version of A1 sauce for a while now, and when I got the chance to work with Freund Containers on a homemade  holiday gift using one of their products I jumped at the chance.  They’ve got the perfect steak sauce bottles, and I know the meat lovers on my list will appreciate this so much more than a plate of cookies.  At the end of this post there’s a giveaway for $100 worth of Freund’s products, so be sure to enter.  They sell literally any kind of bottle or container you can imagine, so you can find the perfect packaging for your homemade gifts this year.


Steak sauce is one of the most powerfully flavored sauces you’ll ever taste.  That’s why I love it.  It has complex, almost Byzantine layers of flavor.  To formulate this recipe I just dove in head first, after carefully studying the labels of a couple of my favorite sauces, of course, and gathered up a bunch of likely ingredients.  I added a few of my own ideas for good measure, like pomegranate juice and pomegranate molasses.  My method was pretty casual, I just started adding and tasting until I got it exactly right.  I wasn’t sure it was going to work at first, but the more I pressed on, the closer I got.  I actually prefer my version to A1, which is pretty amazing.  I know some people think it a sacrilege to use steak sauce on a good steak, and to those I would say… then use it on a good hamburger…but don’t pass this up.

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The process is surprisingly simple — cook the ingredients for a short bit to combine them well, puree, and then strain.  I started with a whole orange that is boiled to remove any excess bitterness in the peel, and then pureed.  The result is an unusual flavor component.  You can adjust the amount of any of the ingredients  to your taste,  but I encourage you to taste it as is first.  I know it seems like an unlikely grouping, but the flavors combine to form a unique sweet, sour, tangy, umami experience.  I had almost all of the ingredients already in the house,  I had to buy the dates and the pomegranate juice, that’s all.  (You can substitute raisins or prunes for the dates.)


This is a really fun project, and if you like steak sauce, I think you’ll love it.

Homemade Steak Sauce

Yield: makes about 1 1/2 cups


  • 1 organic orange (for 2 heaping Tbsp puree, instructions below)
  • 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice
  • 6 dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 3 Tbsp malt vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp hot chili sauce (I used Sriracha)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp celery seed


  1. To make the orange puree, wash the orange well, and then put it in a pot and cover it with water. Bring to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Remove the orange and cut in quarters, Remove any seeds, and then put the rest, peel and all, into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse and then puree until the orange is smooth. One large orange will make enough puree for approximately 6 bottles of sauce. Set aside 2 heaping tablespoons of the puree for this recipe.
  2. Put everything else into am enameled or non-reactive pot, along with the 2 tablespoons of orange puree, and bring to a simmer. Simmer the sauce, stirring often, for about 5-7 minutes. Taste the sauce to determine if and how you want to adjust the seasonings. This sauce has more body and is less tart than A1. You can add more water to thin, and more vinegar for more tang, if you like.
  3. Cool the sauce and pour into a bottle. Refrigerate and use within 3 months.
  4. This recipe can be multiplied for larger amounts.


The bottles that I got from Freund really made this sauce gift worthy.  I think this is such a great idea for those of you who want to go beyond the plate of cookies this year.



This giveaway is for three $100 gift certificate to Freund Container & Supply. Gift certificate will expire on February 28, 2014. Gift certificate is a one-time use certificate and must be used in its entirety; any leftover monies on the gift certificate will be forfeited. This giveaway is open to both US and Canadian residents. However, it should be noted that due to current International shipping rates, any Canadian winners will pay higher shipping costs for orders. This giveaway will run from Friday November 22, 2013 through Saturday November 30, 2013 (11:59 pm ET).  Winner will be notified within 48 hours of the close of this contest, and given 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen.

To enter: (mandatory) Answer this question in the comments on this post – Which Freund product would you choose, and what type of handcrafted holiday project would you make? Be sure to record your answer in the rafflecopter widget after you’ve left your comment.

(optional) Once you’ve completed the mandatory entry, there a bunch more ways to earn more entries via rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Freund Container & Supply has been helping build businesses since 1938 as the largest distributor of glass bottles, containers and wholesale packaging supplies online. Freund offers over 5,000 items in stock every day, 98% same day shipping and low-price guarantees. Take a look atFreund’s wide selection of jars, tins, bottles and vials for all your crafting and food related needs!

Handcrafted Holidays with Freund - collage 2
Handcrafted Holiday ideas for making gifts from your kitchen using products from Freund Container:


*I was not compensated for this post, however Freund Container supplied me with a case of jars/bottles for making this project.  They are also supplying the gift certificates for the giveaway.  All opinions are my own.

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36 Responses to Homemade Steak Sauce

  1. William Shoemaker says:

    Hi Sue,

    This looks good and I’m planning to make it. But I have these questions – I can see a pretty easy substitution of prunes for dates, but what is your best estimate of the amount of raisins required for a substitute? Did you ever weigh the dates?

    The raisins, I would think, offer some fine tuning possibilities: I think the dark raisins have a bit more sourness in their profile, while lighter raisins I find are sweeter – probably closer to the dates.

    Your thoughts on quantities and flavor profile are welcome.

    I also have pomegranate molasses, what about using that, diluted, in place of the pomegranate juice?

    Whoops, now I fear I’m sounding like one of those awful folks who change everything and then have the gall to critique your original recipe – and let me assure that isn’t the case here. I think your comment about having almost everything in your cupboard got me started. I have light raisins from chutney making with pineapple guavas. And I have pomegranate molasses from another recipe experiment. Please forgive.

    Please answer anyway. I’m a fan of yours and this is my first chance to say so.


    • Sue says:

      Haha, don’t worry, I welcome everybody’s individual ‘takes’ on my recipes! I wouldn’t stress too much about the amounts in this sauce, it’s such a hodge podge that I think you can play with it quite a bit. I think you can eyeball the amount of raisins, maybe 1/3 cup? And I think pomegranate molasses would be ideal, don’t dilute it, the sauce will cook down anyway. Good luck and let me know how it goes.

    • Sue says:

      btw ~ do you can it, to last all year?

  2. This would be a great gift to give to my dad, the steak sauce lover. Looks delicious!

  3. […] Homemade Steak Sauce from The View from Great Island  […]

  4. Candace says:

    Mouth watering, Sue! If I can’t find pomegranate molasses, what do you think might be a good substitute? We don’t have the most “forward” grocery stores here in our little town.

  5. wesley Snyder says:

    I like to make home-made gifts to give all these bottles would work wonders all year long

  6. I always love the swing top bottles. they would make great containers for sauces or syrups.

  7. Amy L says:

    I’d like to make Snack Mix and put it in these Wire Bale Air-Seal Glass Jars
    My family loves salty snacks :)

  8. oh yes this is my sort of steak sauce (also good on eggs). What great bottles and jars.

  9. Jenny M says:

    Swing top wire bottles for homemade infused vinegars! There are some great bottles on this site.

  10. Carolyn says:

    I would use the clear oil and vinegar bottles. I want to make some garlic and rosemary olive oil for Christmas gifts!

  11. Barb says:

    I think I’m going to make that steak sauce too, in those very same bottles!
    We are watching our weight this season and don’t want to bake…
    This would be perfect! And yes I would put steak sauce and even ketchup on my steak!!

  12. Barbara Blue says:

    I’ve always wanted to make steak sauce. And I’m looking for something for people who don’t want jam. Perfect!

  13. Sheri B. says:

    I would enjoy having the oil and vinegar bottles as I love mixing my own salad dressings. For Christmas this year, I am making gingered pumpkin bread as our homemade gift

  14. Susan says:

    I would definitely like some of those bale bottles. I am happy to find the website for Freund.

  15. Liz says:

    What a gorgeous gift, Sue! Both the steak sauce and your presentation are fantastic!!

  16. April R says:

    I’m here mainly for the recipe. Wow, that’s a lot of ingredients! I don’t know if I am adventurous enough to try this. I’m pinning it for future reference. :)

    • Sue says:

      It’s not difficult in any way, so I hope you try it. And it’s good that you don’t have to go out and invest in too many unusual ingredients, if you have a well stocked pantry you probably have many of them already.

  17. Judit says:

    Definitely the French square bottles for me. I would love to make some pepper blends and herb mixes.

  18. Kate says:

    The 4 oz. Gourmet Glass – (London Rectangle) jars would be my choice. I’d fill them with herbs and spices from our local co-op. Their prices cannot be beat! There are many friends that would appreciate a gift basket of fresh pantry staples.

  19. Anna says:

    Amber glass boston round bottles for some homemade vanilla gifts!!! Great site!

  20. Susan says:

    This looked like such a fun project for you! This is way I look at steak sauce, if Peter Luger gives you sauce to put on your steaks, then it’s a-okay by me. I mean they are the king of steakhouses. :-)

  21. jeri says:

    I don’t think I would be allowed in without my cookies, and I really like the red plaid tins.

  22. cherie says:

    great idea! I kind of like these
    for homemade bbq sauce

  23. SallyBR says:

    Very interesting… now, keep in mind I am a native Brazilian, so steak sauce is pretty much a sacrilege in my book. But, the first time I tried it here in the US many many MANY years ago, I must admit I liked it… not on a steak, but definitely on a burger.

    just like barbecue sauce, that now is a mandatory addition to pork ribs, I think there is a spot for steak sauce in my kitchen ;-) I am pinning your post for sure

  24. Pauline says:

    I’d choose the 49620BL wire bail air seal container. These jars would make lovely packaging for a quart of granola! Add a recipe to the jar, and it would stay filled!

  25. Debra says:

    I always love to make some homemade gifts for family and friends every Christmas. This year I’ve made Strawberry Jam and Spiced Cranberry Conserve. After seeing your recipe for the Steak Sauce,
    I know this has to be included on my list as my husband, son, and son in law are connoisseurs of steak sauces! Wherever we travel, we are always on the look out for a unique sauce to bring home.
    The pomegranate and orange ingredients for this sauce are enticing and very appropriate for a holiday gift sauce. This is what I would put in the Freund containers.

  26. Jules says:

    I would get the clear glass straight sided squat jars! Perfect size for the homemade salve I want to make and give for gifts!

  27. Renee says:

    Looks like it was a fun project to make this steak sauce. It sure looks good too. What great ingredients and I bet it is much better than store-bought.

  28. My husband loves A1, so I think we’re going to have to give this a try. The labels on steak sauce have always boggled me too. Props for breaking it down and coming up with a recipe!

  29. This is definitely going on my to-make list for this year, Sue! My son loves steak sauce, so I see no better time to try this than now. :) Beautifully packaged, as well.

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