Yeahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!! It’s fall and that means homemade Chili Sauce! The tangy, sweet, spicy condiment that makes pork, potato pancakes and chicken come ALIVE. Well, not technically “alive”. That would be quite scary.
If you can chop vegetables, simmer something on the stove and happen to have a working nose you CAN make chili sauce. It’s full of chunky vegetables and wintery spices like cloves, brown sugar and cinnamon with the added heat of CAYENNE.
So about that nose thing … several years go I got sinusitis. One of the symptoms of it is not being able to smell anything. Great for walking through garbage juice puddles at the dump, but not so great when making chili sauce. The thing about creating great food is you need to taste as you go. Even if you’re using a recipe. And the thing about tasting is you need your sense of smell to get a good idea of how things taste. So I made my sinusitis chili sauce and had no idea how it tasted. I dragged it around for all of my friends and relatives to taste and got a unanimous decision.
It was gross.
Bland I believe was the actual word. I pulled the spice bag out too early. So as you make this and let it simmer don’t be afraid to adjust things. The inability to adjust is my main complaint about the stupid Instant Pot by the way. You can read my complete unbiased review of how much I don’t like the Instant Pot here.
Shot of a rare museum quality artifact – the recipe card.
You may be asking yourself why now Karen? Why NOW? Because now (around the end of summer) is when you’re going to find the fresh ingredients for everything you need to make it.
Everything that goes into chili sauce is in season in late summer.
What’s in Chili Sauce
This isn’t the thin runny, condiment you see in the grocery storey. It’s a hearty, full of fruit and vegetables concoction that’s more like a chutney.
- Banana Peppers
- Red Peppers
As far as spices and flavourings go you have brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon and cayenne pepper.
Honestly all you do is rough chop a bunch of vegetables, throw them in a pot and let ’em simmer. If you can’t manage that then I’m so sorry to hear you’re in a coma. Get well.
Ready for this old timey, vintage, sweet and spicy chili sauce recipe? Good. I’m proud you were able to shake yourself out of that coma.
What to Eat it With
- On potato pancakes. – which is my FAVOURITE way to eat it.
Canning Chili Sauce
- Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil.
- Bring sauce to a boil if it isn’t already.
- Fill washed, hot pint jars with hot chili sauce, leaving 1/2″ head space.
- Wipe rims, put lids and screw rings on. Finger tighten the rings.
- Process in a hot water bath making sure they are submerged with at least 2″ of water over them.
- Process for 20 minutes. Start timing the 20 minutes once the water has returned to boiling after putting all your jars in.
- Remove jars from the water bath using a jar lifter and set on the counter undisturbed until you hear the satisfying “pop” of them sealing.
To make canning less of a pain (literally) get one of these cheap canning kits that have a jar lifter, a funnel, tongs and everything else you need for canning.
- 18 quarts tomatoes
- 2 bunches celery
- 3 quarts banana peppers
- 10 red peppers
- 12 onions
- 6 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup coarse salt
- 4 cups vinegar
- 4 peaches
- 2.5 lbs brown sugar
- 2 tsps. cayenne pepper
- 3 tsps. cloves
- 3 tsps. cinnamon
- 2 whole cinnamon sticks
- 10 whole cloves
- Peel tomatoes by placing them in boiling water for 30 seconds and then plunging them into cold water. The skin will slide right off. If it doesn’t, plunge them in the hot water again.
- Wrap all the whole spices in a little cheesecloth bag.
- Rough chop the remaining ingredients. Don’t worry about it being pretty, just chop them up into pieces between 1/4″ – 1/2″.
- Put all the ingredients into a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer until thick and reduced by 1/3rd. This will take many hours. 5-10 hours depending on the type of tomatoes you use.
- Taste as you go! If after 3 hours you find you like the taste of it, then remove the spice bag and continue to simmer until thickened. I always leave my spice bag in until the end though.
- Prepare a water bath.
- Fill canning jars with hot chili sauce then put on sealer and band.
- Process for 20 minutes in water bath.
This recipe makes a HUGE batch so either half it or plan on preserving it.
Pro tip? Do not attempt this while suffering from sinusitis.
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