Here is a guest post from my husband, Karim.
Note that all measurements are very approximate; feel free to to alter to your taste. You can alter the consistency and thickness of the sauce towards the end if you need to. A useful tip that applies throughout this recipe: do not attempt to rub your eyes, go to the toilet, change a baby’s nappy, or attempt any sort of intimacies with your significant other at any stage during the process. Pain will result.
- 1 roughly chopped onion
- 4 roughly chopped cloves of garlic
- 400g of roughly chopped Jalapeño, serrano, and birdseye chillis, in whatever proportion you’ve purchased them in. For a hotter sauce, use habaneros or Scotch bonnets. Basically, you can use any types of peppers you’d like- I’ve found that Scotch bonnets have the most flavour to go with their heat, and would have used some if I had found any in the local supermarkets and grocers. You can also add some Turkish or bell peppers for more flavour and less heat.
- 600mL of clear vinegar, preferably white wine or apple cider
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 2 tablespoons of molasses
- 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
Take a non-reactive stock pot or large saucepan, and gently fry the onion until it’s translucent. Add ALL the other ingredients, and set to a gentle simmer. The liquid should almost, but not quite, cover all the solid ingredients- alter amount as needed. Leave to simmer uncovered for an hour, occasionally stirring, until the peppers are very soft and tender. If your liquid level looks to be getting too low, just cover your pan. It’s advisable to run your extractor fan at full for this stage, as you risk a mass exodus of family members/flatmates, all shouting, “My eyes! I’m blind!” if not. If anyone in the neighbourhood has a cold, invite them to stick their face over the pan; their sinuses will soon be clear, if a little painful.
When tender, allow to cool slightly, and use a blender to reduce the nascent sauce to as fine a puree as you can. At this stage, appraise the consistency of the sauce. If it’s too thick, add vinegar and simmer for another 15 minutes. If it’s too thin, simmer uncovered until it’s reduced down a bit.
Pass the puree through a metal sieve, working the mixture with a wooden spoon, and collect the now-smooth sauce in a large measuring jug or anything easy to pour from.
Now sterilise your preserving jars or Kilner jars. I do this simply by pouring boiling water over and into them, let stand for 5 minutes, and draining them. You can also sterilise them in the oven if you prefer, if there’s no non-heat-resistant plastic inserts anywhere in sight. Be sure to only handle them with a clean dishcloth from now on, and try to let nothing come into contact with the mouths of the jars.
Carefully pour the hot sauce into the preserving jars, ensuring none spills on the rims, and seal. Now you play the waiting game: place the jars somewhere cool and dark for a month, then open and enjoy. If you’re worried your sterilisation technique isn’t up to standard, if you have a filthy kitchen, or if you’ve made your hot sauce in the monkey enclosure at the zoo, then you may want to store them in the fridge.