Have you ever wanted to make your own hot sauce? It is a lot easier than you might think.
Our homestead garden produces hot and sweet peppers really well, (but does terrible on bell peppers) so we always have extra that go to waste. In years past we have put them out on the veggie stand at the end our our lane but we still always have left overs that go bad.
So this year I decided to try making my own hot sauce from scratch, with the peppers we grow. I read an article in Mother Earth News about it, and it sounded very simple.
Labor Day Weekend (or thereabouts) I picked all the peppers I could find in the garden and ran them through the Cuisinart. It gave me a slurry the consistency of very thick salsa.
I then put the slurry in a half gallon glass jar with a bunch of pickling salt. I ended up adding some salt water since it didn't pull as much liquid from the peppers as I would have liked. I filled the jar about 3/4 full.
I put the lid on loosely and left it sit on our counter. I stirred it daily for about a month, and in this time it started forming bubbles. (it was fermenting like it is supposed to) The article I read said you could use it after a month but I went a while longer.(Tabasco ages three years) I stopped stirring and let it sit until about the first of November when I added about 10% vinegar.(add to taste)
I let it sit again stirring occasionally until a week before Christmas when I got my wife a used Vitamix for Christmas and she tested it out on the slurry. It was now the consistency of smooth tomato sauce. I tasted it that night and it had acquired a slightly bitter taste, but I didn't worry since I have tasted many different hot sauces with that taste. I figured it was from chopping up the seeds with the Vitamix.
It bubbled a little more after that and then it settled into three layers in the jar. A top layer that looked like red hot sauce, a middle layer that was mostly clear and a bottom layer that was kind of a dark red.
Today I decided to bottle it up. I had bought some 5oz. hot sauce bottles on ebay and made up some lables at work.
I ladled off the top layer into a pan and tasted it...No bitter taste! When I got down to the clear layer I tasted it also...No bitter taste! So I didn't worry about getting some of it into the pan with the top layer.
I mixed it up well in the pan and put it through a screen and into bottles. I got 8
You can see what is left of the bottom two layers in the jar in the background.
The sauce came out rather mild since our "hot" peppers were rather mild themselves. It does have just a little kick to it but not much at all. I saved the sauce we screened out and put it in a jelly jar for immediate use.
The label says "Nuthin but fermented peppers, salt, vinegar and water".
It has a real nice flavor to it.
I wrote the year on each label so we can keep track of the vintage.
Still clinging to my God and my guns,
Just wanted to give an update without a totally new post...
I have been using the thick leftovers from straining the sauce on my eggs in the morning...the verdict is I think I used too much salt...this stuff is very salty...but I have started just adding a forkfull to my omelet in the morning with no other added salt or pepper and it is very good...still waiting to see what the bottled sauce is like...I have given about half away already.