My most favorite of tomato canning recipes? By far, no questions asked, chili sauce.
It ends up making the best meals during the winter, paired with black or kidney beans, ground turkey if you like, and just about any skillet free-for-all, this chile sauce is a great staple in the pantry. Using the best of the harvest at the height of the season, tomatoes + chiles + spices and all things good just make for an awesome combination.
Ooh and it uses a spice bag. You gather your spices, and wrap them up in cheese cloth. I use a slice of cheese cloth to tie the bag shut.
And then off they go into a vat of tomatoes to season themselves off.
I use a variation on the classic chili sauce recipe in the Ball Canning Book and I have to tell you, it's a delicious recipe. It provides the perfect amount of sauce and tang to a winter dish.
24 large red ripe tomatoes (I rough chop them)
3 medium onions chopped
4 medium red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 jalapenos chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup sugar (we halved this)
3 T salt
3 T mixed pickling spice
1 T celery seed
1 T mustard seed
2.5 cups distilled white vinegar (I used cider vinegar this year)
1. Combine the tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, sugar and salt in a large sauce pan. Cook over a low flame for 40 minutes.
2. Tie the spices in a cheesecloth bag and add to the tomato mixture. Cook until mixture is reduced by one half about 45 minutes. As mixture thickens stir frequently to prevent sticking.
3. Add the vinegar and cook slowly until desired thickness. (we used very juicy tomatoes this year: this took hours.) Remove spice bag.
4. Pour into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Adjust caps. Process for 15 minutes in boiling water bath canner.