Submitted by Alexis Baghdadi
It's that time of the year again: pepper season.
I like hot peppers, and Tabasco peppers (Capsicum frutescens) happen to grow very well in my family’s small garden in Beirut. I usually pickle or dry my pepper harvest (check out the recipes in this previous blog post), but last year I promised myself I would make hot sauce this summer. And so I did.
If you like hot sauce like me, you are probably buying McIlhenny’s Tabasco pepper sauce from the store. From what I can tell, it’s a pretty decent brand, and quite affordable. But making my own sauce instead of buying it does have its attraction, and it looked easy enough. After all, there are only 3 ingredients listed on the bottle: Tabasco peppers, vinegar and salt.
- 450 grams of fresh, de-stemmed red Tabasco peppers (I picked mine from my garden)
- 2 cups of white vinegar (read the ingredients, I found some brands used flavoring!)
- 2 tsps of salt (I used ground rock sea salt)
Put the vinegar and peppers in a saucepan and heat them (you can use the peppers whole, but some recipes I found suggested chopping them first). Add the salt and mix well, then cover the mixture and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
When the mixture cools down, pour it into a blender and blend it until it looks like a puree. After that, strain and press the mixture well to get rid of the pulp, place the juice in a sterilized jar and refrigerate. After 2 weeks, strain the mixture and add some white vinegar to adjust the consistency if it is too thick.
Some recipes I found suggested refrigerating the entire mixture, then straining it after 2 weeks in the refrigerator. It shouldn’t make any difference, so it is really up to you.