Homemade Hot Sauce in Decorative Mason Jars

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 3 minutes

If your go-to gift for Father’s Day is a tie, socks, a shirt or other some other article of apparel, on behalf of dads everywhere, please try something new!   If your dad loves spicy foods, a signature, homemade hot sauce is the perfect gift.

The trick for the perfect hot sauce is using a combination of peppers with a balance of sweetness, fruit and heat.   Certain types of peppers, like the Caribbean Red Pepper and Scotch Bonnets, add the heat to the hot sauce that will make your dad’s mouth water, his ears pop and his body temperature rise.   Combining different types of peppers with vegetables will add sweet, fruity and flavorful notes to your hot sauce.

Place into an inexpensive, decorative bottle and you’ve got the perfect gift for the zesty men in your life.

Dad’s Homemade Hot Sauce

Makes 1 pint

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large yellow onion, sliced

2 teaspoons salt

2 large jalapeno peppers, diced

2 medium chile peppers, such as poblano, New Mexico or Anaheim, diced (see Tip)

2-4 habanero peppers, or other small hot chile peppers, stemmed, halved and seeded (see Tip)

4 cloves garlic, diced

1 large carrot, tip and root end removed, chopped

1 (28 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes

1 cup distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1-3 teaspoons stevia

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and salt and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions begin to soften.   Add in the peppers, garlic and carrots.   Cook, stirring, until the onion begins to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.   (Note: this should be done in a very well-ventilated area!   The fumes from the cooking peppers are strong, so do not lean over the pot or you may inhale the acrid steam.)

Reduce heat to medium. Add in the tomatoes, sugar or stevia.   Bring the mixture to a boil.   Then, turn the heat to medium.   Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to steep until it comes to room temperature. Carefully transfer the pepper mixture to a food processor or blender. (Use caution when pureeing hot ingredients.)  If you’re using a blender, place the lid on loosely and cover it with a dish cloth to allow any steam to escape.     Puree the mixture for 15 seconds. With the food processor or blender running, add the vinegar through the feed tube or the opening in the lid in a steady stream.

Puree until smooth.   Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl; pour the pureed mixture through the sieve, gently pushing on the solids with a wooden spoon to extract all the liquid. (Discard solids.) Let the sauce cool to room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours.   Taste and season with more salt, if necessary.

Transfer the hot sauce to a sterilized, glass pint jar or bottle and secure it  with an airtight lid. Refrigerate.   The hot sauce tastes best when aged for at least 2 weeks.   Shake the bottle to recombine the liquid before using. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Tip: The membranes that hold the seeds are the spiciest part of chile peppers (that’s where the capsaicin is). The seeds pick up some spiciness by association. You can adjust the heat of the peppers and the spiciness of the hot sauce by using some or all of the seeds along with the flesh of the peppers. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after chopping hot peppers or wear rubber gloves.

The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” She blogs for Vitacost.com and  Momonomics.com  on a weekly basis.