It’s a little known fact (well, not that little known) that I am a bit of a chilli freak. I’m not into the whole burn your face off just for the fun of it scene, but I do enjoy myself the odd spicy piece of deliciousness, and so the other day I decided that I would try my hand at making my very own hot sauce.
I’ve got to say, it turned out pretty well, and so I thought that I might share the recipe with all of you fellow spice-nuts.
Bare in mind that it’s not too hot, and if it doesn’t stimulate your senses enough you can always vamp it up with some hotter chillies, or just alter the recipe to your liking.
PREP TIME: 15 mins. COOKING TIME: 45 mins.
- 1 Kitchen (with stove)
- 1 cooking pot or saucepan
- A blender
- Some jars or bottles
- 1 medium onion
- 1 green bullhorn chilli
- 24 red bird’s-eye chillies
- Five cloves of garlic
- Some white vinegar
- Some red wine (or port)
- Herbs and stuff
- Cayenne pepper
- A bit of olive oil
- Rubber gloves
- Peel your onion and garlic.
- Chop those bad boys up nice and finely. I mean really fine. You don’t want any chunks floating around.
- Now get those rubber gloves and put them on your hands. You don’t have to do this, but I highly recommend it, because you are about to cut up a whole bunch of chillies and you don’t want that burning heat all over your hands.
- Have you got your gloves on? Good.
- Cut all of the stems off your chillies. And then slice and dice everything up until it’s nice and fine. Don’t bother taking out the seeds or coring anything. You’re making hot sauce and it seems a bit pointless to try making it mild. But, hey, you’re your own person and you can do what you want.
- Make sure you don’t wipe your eyes or scratch your face or anything while doing this, because it will hurt … like, a lot
- You’re pretty much done with the prep now.
Actually Making The Sauce
- Turn on your stove to a medium heat and put you pot there on top of the hot bit.
- When that pot gets hot put in a little bit of olive oil. You don’t need a whole lot, just enough to make sure all you ingredients don’t stick to the bottom and burn.
- Once the oil is hot throw in your onion and garlic. Stir it all around and sautee for about five minutes or so. You’ll know when it’s done when the onions are going translucent.
- Now throw in all of your chilli bits and sautee them as well. It’ll take about another five or so minutes, but once again just sautee until it looks like it’s cooked.
- Now pour in a bit of water. Not too much, just enough to cover all the awesome chilli goodness in your pot.
- Be careful at this point and don’t get your face too close to all the steam that’s going to flying out of the top of the brew. It’s basically pepper spray and it’s going to hurt like a mother-fucker if you get too much in your eyes.
- Just relax and let the water reduce down. It’ll take a little while and turn a weird yellow/red colour, but this is exactly what you want to happen.
- Once the water has reduced enough for the chilli to turn into a mushy grossness throw in a bit of your wine or port (I used tawny pot just for the sweetness and it seemed to work pretty well). Let this reduce just like you did with the water.
- At some time around this point you’re gonna want to flavour this all a bit more. Throw in a bit of thyme and a teaspoon of oregano. Don’t put too much in the way of herbs it, because it will just end up tasting weird with all that chilli heat. Best to go for subtlety with this one.
- Also chuck in like a tablespoon of salt, two teaspoons of sugar, and a nice big teaspoon of cayenne pepper. I guess you can leave out the cayenne if you don’t want it too spicy, but once again I’m gonna say that this is a hot sauce so it’s a bit pointless to leave out the spice.
- You’re doing pretty well, give yourself a pat on the back.
- If your wine/port and chilli mixture has once again reduced into a mushy hotness it’s time to add the vinegar. I just poured it straight from the bottle and didn’t bother measuring it, but I guess it’s like a cup and a half worth of vinegar.
- Boil for a bit longer.
- You’re pretty much done now! Take the pot off the heat and let it cool down to room temperature.
- Once it’s cooled down throw the whole pot load of awesomeness into the blender.
- Keep on blending until your sauce is nice and smooth. Add some extra water if it’s not getting to consistency that you desire. This really depends on how much you managed to reduce the liquid earlier on.
- Is it a nice smooth sauce? Great. Now, pour it into some bottles or jars or whatever you want your hot sauce in.
- Put that sauce into the fridge.
- You can enjoy it right away, but it’s best to leave it in the fridge for a least overnight (I’d recommend a week) just to let the flavours deepen and develop.
And that’s how to make my hot sauce.
Keep in mind that you can change this recipe to meet your needs. I know I’ll be tweaking it in days to come, but for a first attempt at making my own spicy liquid of amazement I think it’s a pretty tasty mix.
In fact, keep your eyes and ears open in the future for further recipes for hot sauce, because it really looks like this quickly becoming a hobby of mine.
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