Can It Up: Hot Pepper Harissa Sauce
Posted on 26 September 2013
My life is tomatoes.
At least it feels like it right now. I got a screaming deal on a 20-pound box — $20 for dry-farmed Early Girls that were allegedly seconds, but were as good as firsts! I wonder how amazing this vendor’s tomatoes must be in general.
Matt once scored an equally stellar deal on 180 pounds of tomatoes. The ensuing sweaty stinky chaos put me off tomatoes for 4 years. That’s why this is my first year of canning crushed tomatoes for future consumption. Not sure how well they turned out since, alas, every jar has separated, but we will find out this winter in the resulting soups, stews, chilis, and sauces.
Sharing how I canned crushed tomatoes, however, isn’t going to win me any friends for this month’s Can It Up.
But I guarantee that this harissa sauce will. It’s debatable whether tomatoes are the shining star of this preserve, despite being the dominant ingredient. The 4 ounces of fresh crushed dried red pepper (that I carried in my hand luggage back from India after my father almost abandoned it due to lack of luggage space) really are the standout flavor. Prior to opening the bag, I hadn’t noticed that the pepper mix also included dried garlic cloves, which I suspect boosted the sauce’s pungency.
I fear that any future batches of this recipe won’t match this one’s fiery bite since it will have to be made with traditional domestic peppers. The original recipe — not including my minor substitutions — is included for that reason. Luckily, I have 10 4-ounce jars to eat before I have to find out.
Unless this becomes a good excuse to go to India again.
From Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving