Now is the season of abundant red peppers is the perfect time to buy and “can” their essence into a sauce that should last months if you add enough sugar and vinegar, but still a few weeks in the fridge if you can keep the oxygen out.
The first step is to burn the skins: I put all under an electric grill for convenience of doing a large batch without much effort, but I sometimes place them directly on a hob flame or maybe a griddle, but best of all would be on a barbeque. Books usually recommend cooling them in a closed container to help loosed the skin but it’s not strictly necessary for this recipe to remove the unburned skin as it all gets blended in the end.
Next add the peeled charred peppers to a pot, preferably one with a pressure lid, a dried or fresh chilli pepper of your choice, (scotch bonnet are commonly used, and it makes sense to use something that’s too strong to be eaten raw). I used a mixture of pasilla for its licqorish undertones and compliment to dark chocolate and new mexico for heat. Then and add any or all of the following:
- dark chocolate
- garlic cloves
- sugar (preferably dark) or honey
- vinegar – I got away with malt!
- fresh ground cloves, cumin, coriander, fennel, fenugreek, mustard seeds
- rapeseed and grapeseed oil
- cayenne pepper
- citric acid
- tomato puree/ketchup
Pressure cook for 10 minutes or 20-30 minutes without, blend and bottle.
The cost works out very approximately at about £1.30/bottle which is more than I’d expect considering the equivalent sauce costs about £2-3 in the shops, so I cynically conclude that the manufactures use less or very cheap peppers and add a lot of liquid which it can probably stand, but finding the commercial ones are always too sweet or vinegary, QED?