Smoked pepper and scotch bonnet hot sauce

There’s only so many times a woman can hear her boyfriend say, “I’m going to make my own hot sauce” before she just gets on and does it herself. I mean, if he’s going to bang on about it all the time then I’m going to be thinking about it all the time and before I know it the mother of all cravings has crept up behind me and planted its claws right into my brain.

So I made the hot sauce while he helped by way of forming words with his mouth and speaking them at me from the sofa.

Basically the idea was that we would cook red peppers and scotch bonnet chillies in the BBQ to really get a smoke flavour going on in the sauce. That worked. The rest is tomatoes, garlic, onion and the usual saucy suspects: vinegar, sugar and salt. The red peppers I think add an essential sweetness, dodging the unpleasant saccharine gloop you get from too much regular sugar. Obviously it’s also fruity-hot; I put 6 scotch bonnets in there for goodness’ sake. De-seed or don’t it’s up to you.

We ate the sauce with jerk chicken and rice n peas. I made the boyfriend go and get it. Ha.

Smoked pepper and scotch bonnet hot sauce

550g tomatoes
6 scotch bonnet chillies
3 red peppers
1 large white onion
4 cloves garlic
250ml white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt

Heat your BBQ. Lightly oil the peppers. Crush a piece of foil with oil and place the scotch bonnets in it. Fold the foil into a parcel and use a skewer to make a few holes in it so the smoke can penetrate. Put the peppers and chilli
parcel on the BBQ once hot. Put the lid on the BBQ to keep the smoke in (open the top and bottom air vents). Turn the peppers every so often until soft and charred all over. Turn the chilli parcel once half way through cooking the peppers. Once cooked set both aside to cool.

Cut a cross in the base of each tomato then place them in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and leave for a few minutes until the skins loosen and can be peeled away easily. Dice the tomatoes and set aside.

In a saucepan fry the onion gently in a little oil until soft. Try not to colour the onion too much. Roughly chop the peppers, discarding the stalk, seeds and any charred pieces of skin and add to the pan with the chillies, garlic, vinegar, tomatoes, salt and sugar. Let the mixture simmer for about 30-45 minutes until the tomatoes have started to break down into a pulp. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve then blend it. Set aside to cool.

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26 thoughts on “Smoked pepper and scotch bonnet hot sauce

  1. Hi Helen,
    Great looking recipe. I plan to make it in a couple of weeks when the scotch bonnets in my garden have ripened. Can I check the number of scotch bonnets you recommend. It mentions three in your commentary, six in the recipe. Would six blow my socks off? Thanks Tim

    1. Sorry! It’s supposed to be six. I don’t know what happened there. Well yes, it is hot. Um, maybe use four and see how you go?

        1. I”ve just tried the hot sauce for the first time (with a kind of Mexican eggs dish). It was delicious. The heat wasn’t too intense as I don’t think the chillies had the sun they really needed but the smoky flavour was delicious. I had jars off the stuff in the fridge that I will now be enjoying all winter, Many thanks. Tim

  2. Thanks Helen, I was thinking as much. (And you can always scrape mould off!) I’ve got Mum all excited about making this for wedding favours :)

    1. Hi Louise,

      About a month I should imagine, if it’s not in the fridge. The best indicator however will be your own judgement. If it has mould on it, don’t eat it. That sounds obvious I know but hey, thought I’d say it anyway.

  3. Oho! Made again, and this time I took no prisoners. Got out the smoker, used some oak (former whiskey barrels) for smoke, and smoked the heck outta them peppers and scotchies. Much more mature taste than my first go above, totally worth it.

  4. I made this sauce yesterday (unfortunately I was lazy and didn’t fire up the bbq for the smoking part and just used the grill – definite mistake as I could taste the hole where the smokey flavour would fit) – and it is EPIC! Really fruity, really hot, really good. I’ve just hit it with your bacon, bubble and cheese butty and he result was heaven. I am a sated man.

    1. Excellent idea to stick the hot sauce in the butty I must say. Really pleased you enjoyed it! The smoking does make a difference though, you’re right.

  5. It’s not often I read something that makes my lips tingle rather than my mouth water! Scotch bonnet or similar make great window / house plants. Can’t wait for my crop to ripen.

  6. One thing about moving to the ‘burbs is that I don’t have the Tooting markets to go to for Scotch Bonnet peppers. Can you even get them in the supermarkets or are they a lawsuit waiting to happen?

  7. The idea of takeaway Jerk makes me want to move to Peckham… Hmm but then I wouldn’t have Cyprus Mangal on my door step. Either way this hot sauce would come in handy, love the idea of the bbq’d peppers for that smokey hit.


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