Saturday, June 30, 2012

Grandmama Ruth's Chili Sauce

In the last ten years, I've attempted to re-create Doc's grandmother's "chili sauce" exactly three times times. The third time was a couple of weekends ago when we had a rainy Sunday morning and decided to watch the Methodist Hour and listen to the local gospel channel.

Grandmama Ruth, as Doc called her, and his grandfather moved from Winona to Senatobia when he was in middle school. Apparently, he spent his days helping his grandfather eat. If you're familiar with chow-chow sauce, this is basically the same thing. It's really just hot sauce (like Tiger's or Tabasco) with chunky vegetables with a little more of a sweet/tomato/vinegar taste. It's great on black-eyed peas and spread over corn bread.

It is a good bit of chopping but is fun and goes by quickly if you have two people chopping. The canning process takes awhile depending on how many hands and big pots you have. It's certainly worth the effort especially when you have fresh veggies. Although, in the end, this turned out to be a classic example of a "we" project that quickly turned into a solo affair!

Grandmama Ruth's Chili Sauce

2 home-grown tomatoes
1 jalapeno pepper, disregard seeds
2 green bell peppers
1 red bell pepper
2 white onions
1/2 red onion
1 cup fresh sweet corn
28 oz diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 tablespoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Chop tomatoes, jalapenos, red & green bell peppers, red & white onions. Cook mixture, corn, canned tomatoes, brown sugar, vinegar, and spices (except cayenne) in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat for three hours and stirring occasionally. Stir in cayenne.

Put hot mixture in hot, sterilized jars, filling to 1/4 inch from top. Wipe jars clean and cover at once with metal lids and screw on bands (as tightly as possible). This was my set up: mixture in Dutch oven, my two biggest pots to sterilize jars and process. Tea towls helped keep the jars from rattling. I used Doc's grilling tongs and when not in use kept them in the boiling water to keep sterilized. I also found it helpful to have a spatula to help fish out lids and bands.

Process in large stock pot in boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Keeps up to a year in the pantry. Refrigerate if possible - this just makes me feel better - especially if you are not sure your cans sealed properly. You should hear "pops" a few minutes after they are sealed. Be sure to tighten lids again before storing.

*Edit: After tasting this we decided that vinegar is a little much. Try using one cup or just add a little brown sugar when you open your jar.

1 comment:

Lee and Kim said...

You're such a good cook, Kara. And this makes me hungry! :)