Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Hot Sauce with a Few Twists- it's wood fermented

Thanks to the folks at Batch for the idea of tucking in a few wood chips to add another layer of flavour to this fermented hot sauce.  An easy sauce to make, it delivers quite a flavour punch!

Summer is the best time to find a great assortment of colourful, hot peppers.  You can arrange the peppers in your crock or a large jar and set aside in a corner of the kitchen while you work on other preserving projects.  Just remember to check on the "brew" every few days.

This recipe makes 2 litres of pure hot sauce or 4 litres diluted with vinegar.

4 lbs        assorted hot peppers (an assortment adds more depth of flavour)
6 tbsp      coarse salt
3 whole   garlic bulbs, cloves separated and peeled (please use fresh, local)
1-2 liters  filtered water

2 cups      wood chips

Cut the tops off the peppers.  Use gloves to protect your hands and don't rub your eyes...
Place the garlic in the fermentation crock or a large jar.  Add the peppers and the salt and mix.  Place a weight on top of the peppers and let sit overnight.

Next day, toss the wood chips (I used applewoood) in a large colander and shake to remove the small bits.  Pour the wood chips onto a sheet of cheesecloth and tie securely to make sure it does not open.  Wood in the sauce would be an unwelcome addition!

Place the wood chip filled cheesecloth in the crock and add the water to cover all of the contents.  Ferment for five to thirty days.  Remember to check the brine daily, after three days.  Remove the wood when you are happy with the taste- probably around day five.  Remove any foam or mold as it appears.  Eventually the peppers will soften and that is when it is time to move on to the next step.

To make the hot sauce, puree the peppers in a blender.  Add more brine to smooth the flavours.  You can cut it with up to 50% vinegar.  Place in clean jars and store in the refrigerator.

WANNA PLAY?  you could strain the sauce so that it is more liquid.  Use the solids for dehydrating or make chili salt.

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