Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sweet Chilli Sauce - Homemade is the Way

Our poly tunnel is bursting with chillies at the moment and I am trying to find ways of using them up before they go wonky. Yes, I could dry them but I still have lots of dried chillies that I got from friends in Sardinia. I made Harissa (amazing) and I made a wonderful chilli oil but there is only so much you can do. And then it hit me - why not make sweet chilli sauce - an article in the Irish Examiner from my wonderful talented friend Kitty gave me the idea but I wanted to get my own hang on things, so I ignored her delicious recipe - one reason was that I didn't have rice wine vinegar at home and was way too lazy to go out for shopping. So after a few thoughts and reading the label of a shop bought bottle of chilli sauce, I came up with this. Quantities are depending if you like it more hot than sweet and if you like it more liquid running or sticky. I personally like the sauce more thickly (great to brush it over meat & fish) but I was a bit too conservative with the heat - next batch will be a bit stronger :-) One tip tho - make sure you wear rubber gloves and don't touch your yes, nose or mouth as long as you are handling the little red beauties. The sauce will keep unopened for a few months but once opened needs to be used up quite quickly and needs to be stored in the fridge. If you are using nice decorative bottles, this sauce will make a wonderful Christmas present (just make sure they do like hot sauces).

Sweet Chilli Sauce

  • 500g red chillies
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 300 - 700ml white vinegar
  • 600g caster sugar

Homemade sweet chilli sauce
Top and tail the chillies and set 2 third (up to half if you like it hot) aside. Chop the one third (or half) and place in the bowl of a food processor. De-seed the rest of the chillies, chop coarsely and add to the food processor. Add the crushed garlic and pulse until the chillies become a paste. Add about 100ml of vinegar and blitz again to combine (it makes it easier to mix the rest of the vinegar in). Place the chilli paste in a large saucepan and heat up just before adding rest of the vinegar and the sugar. Here it is up to you how much vinegar you are adding. The sauce will thicken towards the end of the cooking process and more when it is cooling down. Add the vinegar and bring to a boil. Simmer until the rawness of the chillies has cooked off and the sauce starts to thickens nicely. I cooked it about 40 mins, stirring from time to time to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan. 

Pour into sterilized bottles and close.

Bon Appetit

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