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
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.