One of the best parts of growing your own hot peppers is the ability to make hot sauce that can liven up your food or knock the boots off your friends.
So today we are going to look at how to make a roasted pepper garlic hot sauce using several peppers from my garden featuring the Bahamian goat.
Step 1: Pick Your Peppers
This really is not too hard of a step. I have a large variety of peppers in my sauce, but what you really need is equal parts of a sweet orange and yellow bell pepper, and a fruity hot pepper like a habeñero or scotch bonnet. I suggest equal parts of each.
As for the combination I made, I like to have a good mix of peppers. You will see that I am emphasizing some of the lighter peppers, although I have some red ones in here to. I am using many varieties: a Bonda Ma Jacques - it is a fairly hot yellow pepper; the Bahamian Goat which has many of the characteristics of a habeñero pepper and a fairly sweet flavor profile; an Italian pepperoncini - it has almost no heat, but will help to deliver some more natural sweetness to the sauce; a small orange sweet pepper -- I call it a baby bell, but I started a parent plant years ago from a mini sweet pepper I got at the grocery store -- it tastes like an orange bell pepper; petit marseillaes, which is also just a sweet pepper; Aji Lemon;, and red jalapeños in the mix. So obviously this is a bit of random mix based upon what I had available.
Step 2: Grill the Peppers Outside Over an Open Flame
You want to get the skins of these peppers well charred, to really bring out that excellent smoky flavor in the sauce. You’ll want to make sure you have coated the peppers well with oil - olive oil works well. And just keep moving the peppers around until they are well charred.
Step 3: Use a Blender to Grind Your Peppers
I am using a Magic Bullet to grind up the peppers, but any blender should work. Add some vinegar to help keep the blender running. I am using apple cider vinegar to complement the sweet flavors. You can also add some water. You also will want to add some salt. This not only compliments the flavor, but helps to pull some liquid out of your pulp.
When you have it well blended, you have a choice to make. Do you want a thicker sauce, or do you want it to be more liquid like. Do you want to ferment it, or just take it straight to the refrigerator? I am opting for a thin sauce that is not fermented. So, I have to strain the sauce. There are many ways to do this. I tried several but was most successful putting the sauce into cheese cloth, twisting it shut, and then squeezing the liquid out.
If you wanted a fermented sauce, then do not strain the sauce at this time, but leave it in a dark place and allow it to ferment for several days.
Step 5: Mix in Some Garlic Powder
After I have my liquid, I added some of my garlic scape powder, but normal garlic powder will work here too. You can also add it prior to blending, but I believe this is a more direct method that uses less garlic to get the same flavor. And finally you have a finished sauce. This adds a sweet tropical kick to anything you put it on.
Step 6: Bottle It Up
For safe bottling*, heat your sauce to a minimum of 195 degrees Fahrenheit, before pouring in sterile bottles. If you want the sauce to have a good shelf life even after being opened, going for a low PH (below 4) is also important. You can accomplish this by adding more vinegar, or through the fermentation process. I used these bottles that I found online.
*You are responsible for your own safety. Please consult other resources for safe bottling and canning practices.