OK, a while ago I was talking to Jodie (our marketing guru) and mentioned that I was a fan of chilli and made my own chilli jam. She suggested I share my “secret recipe” as by all past accounts it’s a goodie! 😊
A mate of mine Phil (he’s also responsible for our website photos but I hasten to add that he didn’t take this one which came direct from my cell phone!) gave me some homegrown chillies a while ago on the condition that he got a bottle of chilli sauce. We were recently invited to dinner at his house, so it was time to put the chillies to good use!
First thing I decided was that I’d go for a sauce rather than a chilli jam which tends to be a bit chunkier – more like a pickle. I decided I would char the chillies and skin them. I’ve done this with capsicums many times and have always enjoyed them so thought I’d do the same thing with the chillies.
I have no idea of the variety the chillies Phil gave me were but they weren’t too hot, so I added in a few extra hot ones I had – Googling them they could have been Scotch Bonnets. I was aiming for a sauce that had some heat but wasn’t too savage – wanting to get more flavour rather than heat into the sauce.
Ok so here’s the (informal) recipe:
- Wash chillies and char to blacken the skins. I used a gas burner I have (a wee gas burner that you use on crème brulee wouldn’t cut it). I charred about 1kg of chillies! The big burner took a while but did a great job. Once chillies were nice and black I put them in a plastic bag to sweat a while.
- Next peel and grate 4 onions.
- Place onions in a pot with a couple of good teaspoons of garlic and salt (decided against pepper as the chillies will bring enough heat).
- Sweat the onions down in a bit of butter until just starting to turn golden brown.
- Add in 4 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes. Confession time – I used tinned tomatoes in juice rather than fresh ones. It saves a lot of time and at this time of year they were a lot cheaper which is always a bonus. I rinsed the juice out of the tins and added that as well for moisture (about 400 g).
- Next add some apples (I used 4 cooking apples) Glen does preserve apples (she makes a great apple pie) but I wasn’t allowed those for my chilli sauce, so I cored and sliced some fresh apples. I opted to not use tinned apples as I thought they’d probably have added sugar and I was trying to stay away from that. I didn’t worry about grating them as I thought they’d mush up nicely in the cooking, but they didn’t! No worries – there’s ways around that (see further down).
- Next came 2 mangos. Cut the flesh away from the stone and put it through a whizzer. Add to pot.
- While everything is cooking away nicely in the pot, skin the chillies. Always proceed with caution here – peeling these under running water seems to work best. It did get a bit tedious washing some of the small hot chillies, but the result was worth it. The chillies then went into the kitchen whizz for a fine chop and then into the pot.
- Next add 1 litre of vinegar and leave to simmer away on low heat for a few hours.
- Taste test after a few hours and season to suit your individual taste.
- Grab your kitchen whizz/blender and run the sauce through it. This will help break down the apple slices.
- After running the mixture through a kitchen whizz you are good to go! Alternatively take it a step further and put the brew through a sieve. I did this, and it worked better than I thought. It was a soup ladle at a time and I used the back of the ladle to push the mix through the sieve. This gave me not only a chilli sauce (I was rapt with the consistency) but also a chilli pulp. I have a theory that this will go great in soups and stews and I’m sure this will be all gone by the end of winter.
I sampled the final product – the first taste was magic. The mango and apple were there, and the heat came through after that. I was really pleased with the heat level – a nice zing without being too savage. For chilli lovers it’s a well-balanced chilli sauce.
I made this brew for our own personal use – and will be eating it for a while to come. It may also make its way into our catering for any customers who love a bit of chilli. Just give us a shot if you’d like to give it a try.