It’s true! Hot sauce is amazing and thankfully Hugh grows lots of chillies for me and every year grows a new variety that he’s never grown before. 3 years ago it was a yellow variety with a lemony, hot flavour called Lemon Aji. Last year it was a variety called Red Basque. This year he grew me some Chilhauacle Negro.
Chilhauacle Negro is unusual for a chilli as it’s the size of a bell pepper. It’s very large and chocolate brown in colour. It’s bell pepper shape disguises a very hot and full of a very deep chocolatey chilli flavour! Yummy!
But once we’ve harvested them and used as many as possible, what do we do with what’s left? I refuse to waste them so we make my favourite HOT, HOT, HOT chilli sauce!!!!
Making the sauce is easy so if you want to have a go, let me take you through it step by step.
First weigh your chillies. You can go for one variety or just throw in whatever is left from your plants (like I do!). If you buy them try to select a variety that you know you like the flavour of or pick a mix of types for a more interesting flavour.
Chop 2 medium red onions per 450g of chillis and add it to a pan with 2 tablespoons of oil. Fry until opaque in colour.
Add your chillies, fry lightly. If you want to add another flavour you could add some garlic or ginger but these are optional depending on what you like. If you want this I’d suggest 1 head of garlic finely chopped and/or 1 square inch of ginger per 450g. I usually add both but that’s my preference.
Add 4tsp of salt and 2 litres of vinegar per 450g of chillies. We use our own homemade apple cider vinegar. The cider is made from our apples and then we add a “Mother of Vinegar” to turn the cider into a vinegar. It tastes amazing! White wine vinegar also works or plain, clear distilled vinegar if you’re on a budget.
Bring the mixture to the boil and open ALL of your windows and doors or otherwise everyone will be complaining about the smell of boiling chillies and vinegar for days (eek!). Alternatively your your mixture up using a camping stove outside so that you don’t have that problem.
Once the volume has reduced by half add it to a liquidiser and whiz it all up until it’s SMOOTH.
Sterilise some glass bottles. I usually do this by popping them in some water and bringing it to the boil. This has the advantage of heating the glass so that when you add the hot sauce the bottle won’t shatter because the temperatures are similar. Glass shards in chilli sauce doesn’t appeal somehow…
I use a jam funnel to fill the bottles as it stops me having to clean up spills on the work surface or having a mess of chilli sauce down the side of the bottle.
All that’s left is for me to label the bottle. In my case I add the year only as a label because Hugh know that the heat in this sauce is above his pain threshold.
To be fair I use it sparingly….it’s very hot this year. Maybe it’s the mix of chilli varieties in the sauce, maybe it’s the extra ginger I added….who know, but I know it’s DELICIOUS and the best sauce that we’ve ever produced.