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I discovered this Anchovy Sauce from Geo Watkins the same time as the Mushroom Ketchup in Sainsburys although this is slightly more expensive at £1.35 for a 170ml (6fl oz) bottle. It is also now available from Tesco.
Its texture is thicker than say Worcestershire sauce, but thinner than tomato ketchup. It is, in my opinion the colour of milky coffee and as you would expect it smells rather fishy, just like the aroma released when opening a tin of anchovies. Although it does not add a fishy taste to food when used instead, it adds a flavour that is hard to pinpoint. So you may well have had this before, perhaps in a restaurant dish and not realised it (unless of course you are vegetarian).
I decided to buy this purely to add to my homemade fish pies, but have since discovered it is a useful addition to a number of other recipes as well.
It was whilst watching episodes of the drama Pie In The Sky that Police Officer/Chef Henry Crabbe was seen adding anchovy sauce it to this filling for a shepherds pie, but on one occasion both him and the other chef both added it unaware that the other had already done so, the result was a very inedible shepherds pie. Something I won't fall foul of as I put it away as soon as I've used it, so there is no confusion.
I have found that it is also useful to add a very small amount to prawn cocktails and homemade fish cakes.
The label suggests using a tablespoon of this sauce for fish pies, but I have found that to be a little too much, so I add a little less as it does taste rather salty, the same goes when adding it to shepherds or cottage pies. This way it adds flavour, one which is hard to place, without overpowering the main ingredients, be it fish, beef or lamb. You will also find that by using this, there is no need to add additional salt either whilst cooking or at the table.
It can also be used straight from the bottle on to foods such as Pizza, fried fish, steak, chicken and scrambled eggs, but using it this way somehow doesn't appeal to me, as its flavour is quite strong and also very salty.( I know this because I dipped my finger in the bottle to see what it tasted like). But I will no doubt try using it this way, as I am of the opinion "One shouldn't knock what one hasn't tried" (unless of course there is an allergy issue involved)
There is also a recipe printed on the label on how to use this sauce to make anchovy butter, but this is something else I have yet to try. (I have been told that apparently anchovy butter is fantastic with steak.).
Although this has a thicker texture than Worcester sauce the bottle has no plastic stopper to regulate the flow, so I would certainly advise you measure your amounts carefully using a spoon, rather than just adding it straight to your food direct from the bottle, thereby avoiding adding too much and spoiling the dish.
The ingredients in this are pretty much what you'd expect for this type of sauce and include Anchovies (obviously), salt, acetic acid, xanthan gum, stabiliser and spices. (although it doesn't list which spices are used).
The label also carries the usual allergy advice, in this case that the sauce contains FISH (no surprise there then) and the fact that it is made in a factory that uses nut ingredients.
In my opinion anchovies are either something you either love or hate ( a bit like marmite), so I sure that this will not be an attractive product to some but if, like me, you are partial to the odd anchovy, then this would be a useful addition to your store cupboard.
If you're instant reaction to this is YUK! Then maybe you should ask yourself whether you like Worcestershire sauce... Why is that you ask? Well, were you aware that Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies? It is probably also lurking in a number of other things too that you didn't realise.
If this does appeal to you and you are unable to find it locally, then there are various web sites where you can buy it on line, one of which is bakersandlarners.co.uk at a cost of £1.99.
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