Thursday, August 19, 2010
WWII Chili Sauce
August is undeniably tomato month. Although I think the heat and variable amount of rain has crippled our crop a bit, there are still enough tomatoes to put up a few of our favorites. One of these is affectionately known as "WWII Chili Sauce."
This recipe derives its name from its origins in Grandma's Wartime Kitchen by Joanne Lamb Hayes. Although Hayes has devised a way to make this sauce in about a half hour of cook time, I am going against the "Fast" of "Fast, Cheap, and Good" by reverse engineering it to cook longer, making for a thicker sauce and deeper flavors. It is worth the investment of time.
DH loves this sauce. On a cold winter night that he is cooking for himself, I can assist by thawing a pound of hamburger and letting him use this like sloppy joe sauce. It makes a great topping for bread, noodles, or potatoes, and it makes about 4-5 servings of sloppy joe-style chili.
3 lb tomatoes
½ cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped pepper (I uses salsa delight and bananarama chiles, but the recipe calls for green bell peppers)
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
½ t. salt
¼ t. ground cloves
¼ t. ground allspice
Wash and stem the tomatoes, cutting into reasonable size chunks and cutting out bad spots. Place in large pot and cook until the tomatoes are juicy and boiling. The longer you cook, the more juice and pulp will be available to you.
When the tomatoes have released their juice, pass the juice and pulp through a ricer (also called a food mill) to remove the skins and seeds. Return the tomato pulp to the pan, and add the remaining ingredients. Return to a gentle boil, and cook until the sauce is as thick as you would like – depending on the tomatoes you have used and the size of the batch, this could take up to 2 hours.
Refrigerate for use within a week, or spoon into a sterilized pint jar, leaving 1/4-1/2 inch headspace, and process in a water bath canner for 20 minutes (25 minutes for quarts). Makes one pint.
Fast: Well, I did make the cook time longer on this by virtue of cooking the pulp down, sending it through a ricer, and then cooking again. I think it is worth it.
Cheap: Depending on your garden, this could be quite cheap indeed, with the cost coming mostly or entirely from pantry supplies (like cider vinegar and spices). I always have to buy onion, which are 75 cents each at my farmer's market. I grow tomatoes and peppers.
Good: Once you've had this, I promise the sticky, HFCS-laden sloppy joe sauce in a can will hold very little appeal for you. And, as a bonus, the house smells wonderful while you cook it!
Posted by Jennifer Lorenzetti at 9:41 AM