The end of July and the garden was slow because of the heat, and yet producing a varied selection of everything. Every day I could pick tomatoes. I 'rescue' the lower ones and ripen them in the kitchen, before a critter decides to do a taste test.
Critters are apparently picky as they will take a bite of several...if they are close to the ground.
We had three pickings this week of tomatoes...
And the peppers are starting as well as a few zucchini and the continual wonderful yellow squash.
I don't need any tomato juice, plain tomato sauce, or canned tomatoes. So I decided to make a Rodeo sauce with a rich taste for bbq. Sometimes our favorite bbq sauce is too flavorful/overpowering for anything but ribs or beef. So, I'm making a milder version that isn't too sweet or spicy. Perfect for chicken breasts or lean pork.
I call this original recipe
Sandi's Rodeo Sauce.
Temperatures were so hot outside last week and I didn't want to add any heat to the house.
So, I started cooking in my 8 quart crock pot. I chopped all my tomatoes, a couple of green peppers, some onions and clove garlic. I put that in the crockpot on high.
As the contents cooked down a bit, I added more tomatoes. I really wanted to use up as many as possible, even the cherry tomatoes, which are so sweet this year.
I left the skins on for the added vitamins and I'm going to pulverize everything anyway. For those who can't handle seeds, plan on using a juicer or a food mill to remove seeds.
Leave your pot cooking for a whole day, first on high then on low with the lid on.
Eventually everything is soft. Turn off and cool so you can put the container in the refrigerator overnight.
Next morning I ran the chilled entire contents through the chopper about 4 cups at a time. Grind up very fine.
Puree the entire batch and return to the crock or a kettle.
The puree was a rich color color and pretty thick.
(I confess I didn't want to make this a four day process, so I eventually transferred this to a large kettle and simmered to cook it down. You can do this on high in the crockpot with the lid, cross-wise to reduce the sauce to the desired thickness.
I added my whole spices wrapped in cotton, and added the other ingredients.
The apple cider vinegar will be quite pungent in the beginning...give it an hour or too before adding more brown sugar and let the ingredients meld!
I was going for a certain flavor, but you can increase or decrease or add your favorite ingredients, just remember as you reduce the puree the flavors get stronger. I'm adding salt at the canning stage to each pint, so I leave most of that out during the simmering.
Taste, taste, taste along the way!
When you have reduced the pot down to the point where it is thick enough to make it the consistency of a bbq sauce, fill your hot clean jars.
Add 1 tsp of lemon juice and 1/2 tsp canning salt to each jar.
From roughly 8-9 qts of chopped tomatoes we got 8 1/2 pts of sauce. Yes, I reduced my puree to almost half, that's why it is sooooo good and flavorful.
Process jars for 20 min in a hot water bath, remove and cover with towels to allow them cool slowly. Make sure all the lids seal, jars that don't seal can be used quickly and stored in the refrigerator.
Sandi's Rodeo Sauce
In Large pot or slow cooker
Water bath canner
Cook until totally soft (in crock pot can take 1/2 day)
10 quarts of chopped tomatoes
3-4 large green peppers chopped
6 onion s chopped fine
8-12 cloves of garlic chopped super fine
2 Tbsp of celery salt
Cool so you can puree in blender/chopper
Put puree back in large pot or crock pot
1 Tbsp of paprika
5-7 Tbsp of chili powder (start with 5 you can always add more)
4 Tbsp of ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp of yellow ground mustard
1 tsp of ground pepper
2 tsp of Szechwan seasoning or your favorite hot seasoning
make a cloth bundle with
2 Tbsp of whole cloves
2 Tbsp of whole allspice
This section will take at least 1/2 day maybe longer in a crockpot with lid opened.
Bring to a boil and Simmer until reduced down at least 2 inches in the pot.
Add 1 1/2 cups of lt. brown sugar or more to taste
and 2 cups of apple cider vinegar
Stir well scraping the sides of the container, let this cook and hour then
TASTE: add more spices if you wish.
...remove the spice bundle if you are satisfied with the spice.
Continue reducing until the sauce is rich and thick and the flavors all full bodied, tasting as you go along.
Fill your hot pint jars with still hot sauce, add 1/2 tsp canning salt and 1 tsp of lemon juice to each jar. Clean rims and put on lids.
Process 20 min (after bring to boiling) in hot water bath, remove and cover jars with towels to slow cooling. Check seals, any unsealed sauce can be refrigerated and used soon.
This is my own compilation of scribbled recipe's from 2 people, and an old Farmers' Canning and freezing cookbook-two recipes. I have tweaked this down to what we like, and it is delicious and not overwhelming, perfect for chicken and lean pork, also for shellfish. You can always add more salt when you open a jar if this is too mild for you, otherwise it is quite low in sodium compared to commercial recipes.
Thank you for your cooperation,