Brown sauce is a traditional condiment served with food in the United Kingdom and Ireland, normally brown or dark orange in colour. The best known brown sauce is HP Sauce, a spicy and tangy variety. Brown sauce is traditionally eaten with meals and dishes such as full breakfasts, bacon sandwiches or chips and baked beans.
The ingredients include a varying combination of tomatoes, molasses, dates, tamarind, spices, vinegar, and sometimes raisins or anchovies. The taste is either tart or sweet with a peppery taste similar to Worcestershire. It is similar but not identical to today's steak sauce in the United States, which historically derives from brown sauce; barbecue sauce in Australia; and tonkatsu sauce in Japan.
A recipe for "sauce for steaks," composed of ale, wine, ketchup, pepper and butter, appeared in an 1862 cookbook published in London.
HP Sauce is the most popular brown sauce in the UK, accounting for around 75% of value sales in the UK. In some regions of the UK, Daddies is also a very popular sauce, especially in the Midlands and West Country.
Most supermarket chains in the UK and Ireland also stock their own brand of brown sauce. As with other condiments like ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard, brown sauce is widely available in catering sachets and dispenser bottles in restaurants.