Thursday, September 4, 2008

Seasoned Tomato Sauce

Tonight I used up some of the organic tomatoes I picked up on Monday to make some tomato sauce. I used a combination of Jubilee tomatoes (they're orange tomatoes) and a firmer red tomato that I can't remember the name of. The Jubilees are very sweet tomatoes, great flavor. I used about half and half - I just didn't know how Kevin would feel about eating an orange sauce on his pasta if I'd used all the Jubilees. So I mixed them. This is a very easy recipe, not very labor-intensive at all, which was nice. Since I'm very limited on time on work nights, I did the prep work last night, then just heated the sauce back to a boil and canned it tonight. The sauce tastes awesome from my sneaking a taste from the bottom of the pan before I washed it out. I'm excited to have this on hand and can't wait to try out a few other sauce recipes I've found.

Seasoned Tomato Sauce
(page 364 of the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)

10 pounds tomatoes, cored
2 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon granulated sugar (I left this out since I was using the extra sweet Jubilees and neither Kevin or I are crazy about sweet sauce)
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (I left these out since I didn't have any on hand)
Bottled lemon juice or citric acid

Wash and sort the tomatoes, removing any bruised or discolored product. Quarter 6 tomatoes and place in a large stainless steel saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Use a potato masher to crush the tomatoes and release the juices, stirring constantly. While maintaining a boil, quarter additional tomatoes and add them as you work. Make sure the mixture continues to boil vigorously while you add, stir and crush the tomatoes. When all tomatoes have been added, stir in onions, garlic, oregano, bay leaves, salt, black pepper, sugar and hot pepper flakes. Return to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and boil, stirring frequently, until sauce is reduced by half and thickens slightly (about 2 hours).

Prepare canner, jars, and lids.

Working in batches, press tomato mixture through a fine sieve or food mill to remove the skins and seeds. Discard peel and seeds.

Return mixture to saucepan and bring to full rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Before filling each jar with sauce, add 1 Tablespoon lemon juice (or 1/4 teaspoon citric acid) to the hot jar. Ladle hot sauce into jar, remove air bubbles, leave 1/2 inch headspace, wipe rim, place lid, and screw band to fingertip tight.

Place jars in canner. Bring to a boil and process for 35 minutes. Remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes and remove jars. Cool and store.

Tips: It is very important you reheat the tomato sauce before filling the jars. Processing times are based on hot sauce in a hot jar. If the sauce is tepid, the processing time won't be sufficient to vent the excess headspace gases and destroy spoilage microorganisms.

It is crucial that you do not alter the ingredients or quantities or you may produce a product that isn't safe to eat. You must maintain a safe acidity.

Makes about 4-6 pints.

1 comment:

kat said...

that last little comment is what scares me about canning. i'm so afraid of poisoning us