Victoria sauce is a tart and tangy rhubarb sauce. Use it as a brush-on sauce on foods, particularly meats, you are grilling, barbecuing, baking, roasting, etc.
This sauce has nothing to do with Queen Victoria. In fact, it’s not a Victorian barbeque sauce at all, as some speculate. The Victorians didn’t eat barbeque; they would have found it far too messy and carnal.
You won’t find this sauce in Mrs Beeton, either.
This recipe appears to have been invented at some point by writers of the Ball / Bernardin Complete Book. There it is called “Victorian Barbeque Sauce”, and in the Ball Blue Book, the name gets simplified down to Victoria Sauce.
What the Ball / Bernadin Complete Book writers suggest is that this sauce is reminiscent of fruit sauces that the Victorians would brush on meat roasting over the fire (the Victorians didn’t ‘roast’ meat in ovens as ovens hadn’t come along yet in everyday homes.)
So with the facts sorted, and the myth busted, we are still left with one truth: this is a delicious sauce to brush on meat while you are roasting, grilling or barbecuing it.
Jar size choices: Quarter-litre (1/2 US pint / 250 ml / 8 oz) OR half-litre (1 US pint / 500 ml/ 16 oz)
Processing method: Either water-bath or steam canning
Yield: 4 x half-litre (US pint) jars
Headspace: 2 cm (1/2 inch)
Processing time: 15 minutes either size jar
Yield: 4 x half-litre (1 US pint) jars
Serving size: 2 tbsp (30 ml)
Fat: .1 g
- 1 kg chopped rhubarb (2 quarts / 8 cups when sliced into ¼ inch pieces. About 12 stalks)
- 250g coarsely chopped raisins (1½ cups after chopping. 8 oz)
- 100 g onion (1/2 cup of medium-coarse chopped. 3 oz)
- 450 g brown sugar (3½ cups loose packed / 1 lb) OR 3½ teaspoons liquid stevia
- 125 ml white vinegar 5% acidity or higher (1/2 cup / 4 oz)
- 1 teaspoon allspice, ground
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- 1 teaspoon ginger, ground
- 1 teaspoon pickling salt OR 1 teaspoon salt sub
- 3 tablespoons bottled lemon juice (optional)
- Combine rhubarb, raisin, onion, sugar OR liquid stevia, and vinegar together in a large pot. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, uncovered. Let simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes till it breaks down into a coarse, relatively thick purée; you can use the back of your spoon to encourage it along.
- Add the allspice, cinnamon, ginger, salt OR salt sub, and lemon juice if using. Stir well to mix.
- Optional: purée to smooth in blender, put back in pot, reheat thoroughly.
- Pack hot into quarter-litre (1/2 US pint) jars or half-litre (US pint) jars.
- Leave 2 cm (1/2 inch) headspace.
- Debubble, adjust headspace.
- Wipe jar rims.
- Put lids on.
- Process in a water bath or steam canner.
- Process either size of jar for 15 minutes; increase time as needed for your altitude.
- Best after at least a few weeks of jar time.
How to water bath process.
How to steam can.
When water-bath canning or steam canning, you must adjust the processing time for your altitude.
For salt substitute, Herbamare Sodium-Free was used.
For stevia, Better Stevia liquid stevia was the stevia used.
More information about Sugar and Salt-Free Canning in general.
Australia and New Zealand vinegar strength special notes.
- The colour of the finished product will depend on the variety of rhubarb you use. Some varieties such as ruby ones hold their red well. Other varieties will be less red, and let more of the brown of the raisin come through. All batches will vary.
- Don’t worry about so little vinegar in the recipe: there will be plenty of liquid, plus the pH of the rhubarb ( 3.1 – 3.4 ) and the raisins (3.80 – 4.10) keeps the recipe well safe.
- When brushing the sauce on meat, DON’T be dipping a raw-meat contaminated brush in the jar. Instead, spoon a bit of the sauce onto a saucer, and brush from there.
- This is spectacular on a baked ham. If you can some in some 125 ml (1/2 cup / 4 oz) jars, you should find that’s just about the right amount to do a double glaze on a large ham. Apply first glaze in last hour of baking, and second glaze in last half hour.
Ball Blue Book. Muncie, Indiana: Healthmark LLC / Jarden Home Brands. Edition 37. 2014. Page 91.
Kingry, Judi and Lauren Devine. Ball / Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving. Toronto: Robert Rose. 2015. Page 259.
- Added some lemon juice to freshen up the flavour and add a bit more tartness. (Bottled was used to ensure reliable pH)
Per 2 tablespoons / 30 ml
- 41 calories, 38 mg sodium
Sugar and Salt Free Version
Per 2 tablespoons / 30 ml
- 16 calories, 1 mg sodium
- Weight Watchers PointsPlus®: 2 tablespoons: 0 points; 4 tablespoons: 1 point.
* Nutrition info provided by https://caloriecount.about.com
* PointsPlus™ calculated by healthycanning.com. Not endorsed by Weight Watchers® International, Inc, which is the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark.
* Better Stevia ® is a registered trademark of the NOW Foods Company.
* Herbamare ® is a registered trademark of the A. Vogel Corporation.
* Pickle Crisp ® is a registered trademark of the Jarden Corporation.