This is our adaptation of the Red Hot Sauce from the Ball Blue Book; I make just a few small changes but nothing that will alter the ph so as to keep the acidity in line. The right balance of tomatoes, peppers, and vinegar is important. Charles actually tripled the recipe to make 10 half pint jars. The single recipe indicates it will make 4 half pints but we like it a bit thicker so the quantity will vary by how long you simmer the sauce.
Red Hot Sauce
2 quarts tomatoes – chopped
1 1/2 cups chopped hot peppers ~ we use a mix of peppers; Serrano, jalapeno, red cherry bombs ~ any you prefer is fine
Charles washed and chopped the veggies and immediately ran through the food mill to remove the skins and seeds and mash everything up. It works a little easier if you first cook the tomatoes and peppers in about 1/2 of the vinegar for a few minutes to soften them up as the peppers are a bit tricky to get through the hand crank food mills.
Next place pickling spices in a spice bag and in large sauce pan or stock pot place spice bag, tomato and pepper puree, and remaining ingredients. Simmer for several hours over low heat to combine flavors and thicken. We like ours fairly thick like a good barbecue sauce, but it you prefer it to be thinner more like a hot sauce that is fine too; you’ll be looking to reduce by about 1/2. Stir frequently and keep simmering low to prevent sticking. Remove pickling spice bag once desired thickness is achieved and remove from heat.
If canning you will process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes for half pint jars. Leave 1/4 inch head space in jars and use the 2 piece metal lids and ring bands. Refer to your canner instructions or the Ball Blue Book for details.
I grew up on a farm and participated in 10 years of 4-H. We could pick our projects; being a bit of a girly girl I took sewing, cooking, foods preservation and such. One thing mom always said was follow the recipe exactly and make sure you measure properly. She didn’t get the opportunity to cook as a kid so she loved teaching us but was a stickler for doing it exactly as written. I however am a rebel and like to make up my own concoctions and recipes. Canning however is a bit more of a science and there are certain things you have to follow; if your acidity isn’t right or it isn’t processed correctly it can spell disaster.
A couple of years ago while flipping though my mom’s ball blue book I found a recipe for red hot sauce. I love hot sauces but this one called for pickling spice …. weird. I made it anyway wondering what on earth I would do with it; once I started smelling the sauce I was even more concerned about it. One day however I was making a stir fry and decided to add it in; it is perfect in chinese style food. Amazing even; I am sure it will be great on wings. I haven’t had any for quite a while but Charles is making a new batch or maybe 2 to can for the year. It smells amazing; he’s documenting it as I type so I can share the recipe with you. Today I am sharing our pickling spice blend. I have one of those rare pantries with all of the odd herbs and spices so instead of buying a prepackaged blend he made his own. I use a similar combination for my corned beef which helps me use up the random things like juniper berries and star anise.