So I have a lot of ghost peppers and am always looking for uses. This Beet hot sauce combines roasted red beets and red onions for sweetness, red wine vinegar for tartness and preservation, red bell pepper for mildness and redundant redness, and of course ghost peppers. I only used 2 peppers in this edition.
For more info on growing ghost peppers in Sunnyvale, click this link: Chile – Bhut Jolokia
Beet Hot Sauce
Yields 6 pint-size Mason jars
When improvising on a non-fermented, vinegar-based pickle recipe, keep in mind that it is the acidity of the vinegar that is safely preserving the food. Tinker with the herbs and spices and which vegetables you use, but do not dilute the vinegar any more than the recipe specifies. If the pickle is too vinegary for your taste, add a little sugar or honey to soften the flavor but keep the vinegar strength unchanged.
If you’re not riffing on a recipe but inventing one from scratch, be sure you are using vinegar that is 4.5% acetic acid or higher, and that you do not dilute with more than an equal amount of water (a 50/50 vinegar – water ratio). Commercial vinegar will have the acetic acid percentage on the labels.
• 2 roasted beets, chopped
• 1 diced medium red onion
• 8 crushed garlic cloves
• 2 chopped red bell peppers
• 2 ghost peppers
• 2 cups water
• 1 1/4 tbsp kosher salt
• 1 tablespoon paprika
• 1 tablespoon chili powder
• 1/2 tablespoon ground cayenne
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 2 cups red wine vinegar
- If you are planning to pressure seal (aka can) then do that prep.
- Sterilize your bottles or jars
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Prep beets: Cut off top and root; wash; peel; chop into thumb-sized chunks; Drizzle with olive oil; place on foil-lined baking pan. Scrub your hands for 10 minutes trying to remove the beet stains.
- Roast beets for 20 minutes; Flip beets with spatula; Roast 15 to 20 more minutes
- While beets are roasting, prep the veggies: Dice onion; Peel and crush garlic cloves; Chop bell pepper; Cut stems off of ghost peppers
- Add onions, garlic, bell pepper, ghost pepper to medium sauce pot and set to medium high heat. Place lid on pot to allow veggies to steam for 5 minutes
- Add beets, water, salt, and spices and cook with lid on for 15 minutes
- Remove lid, add vinegar, and cook with lid on for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, puree in blender until smooth. Strain sauce through a fine mesh colander.
- Pour hot sauce into bottles to serve or pressure seal in mason jars for longer storage.
- Spend the rest of the day trying to remove the chile smell from the blender