So. Canapalooza 2013 continues! I’ve been stewing the saved skins, cores, seeds and juice from my various other tomato-canning projects in my slow-cooker for a couple of hours.
This morning they were approaching something thicker than water (YAY!) so I used the immersion blender on them, and then strained everything through a sieve. What I got was not nearly as thick as the sauce I made (rendered) on the stove last night, but was good enough to work with.
I combined last night’s three cups of thick sauce with this morning’s ~4 cups of thinner fare, and have them both heating on “low” in the slow cooker again.
So I have about seven cups of sauce to start with. Hurrah. (I admit, I’d been hoping for closer to 16 cups of sauce, which isn’t going to happen, but I’ll work with what I’ve got).
So here’s how my tomato sauce was done this year:
DIRECTIONS + INGREDIENTS
Start with:Seeds, juice, skins, and cores from other tomato-based canning activities
6-8 jaune flame tomatoes, quartered and quartered again
Follow the directions HERE for “basically free tomato sauce”.
What I wound up with was ~7 cups of sauce before starting the rest of the recipe.
The next day:
Pop your sauce into a slow-cooker and set on “low” or “keep warm” (you don’t want things to get thick(er) yet) and add:
½ C balsamic vinegar
½ C red-wine vinegar
Ignore the sauce as it quietly warms up.
In the mean time, dice the following:
1 small green pepper
½ of one cooking onion
2 bulbs of garlic (chop the tops off and you can roast them whole)
Place everything on a cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and roast in a 250F oven for about an hour.
Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin and into a deep, ideally-narrow bowl (you’ll be using an immersion blender), add the other roasted veggies.
Add the following and blend until smooth:
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ C each: fresh basil, fresh parsley, and fresh savoury, shredded/minced (the shredding/mincing is important – otherwise the herbs get tangled around the blender blade and everything gets screwed up)
¼ C granulated sugar
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp each dried oregano, dried rosemary
Use the immersion blender to puree everything into a smooth mess.
NOTE: The sugar and the two types of vinegar are there to make sure the Ph is well inside the Safe Zone. In theory, you would be quite safe from botulism even if you only used half the vinegar & sugar called for, but I’m a fan of the sour stuff and, hey, better safe than sorry.
Combine the Smooth, Flavourful Mess with All The Tomato Sauce in your slow cooker, and turn the heat up to “high”. (Alternatively, combine everything in a pot on the stove and simmer on “medium”).
Sterilize your mason jars, along with their lids and rings. (I got 18 half-cups of sauce from this recipe, fyi, but that will probably work out closer to 4 half-pints or a shallow 2 litres, given the head-room required).
When the sauce is bubbling happily and everything is well-stirred together and smelling AMAZING, ladle it into the half-cup jars.
Cap and then process in a boiling water bath for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from the water bath and allow to cool.
(Listen for the “plunk” as each jar seals – this is important as it will mean it’s safe to store at room temperature. If a jar doesn’t seal, either stick it in the fridge and use it within the week, or dump it back in the pot, reheat it, re-wash the jar, and try again).
So there you have it. This year’s garlic-balsamic tomato sauce – now saucier than ever (last year’s was much, much closer to “crushed tomatoes with added stuff” than it was to tomato sauce). We’ll see how we like it.
Next year may see me slowly rendering sauce again, or I may just say “screw it” and do “crushed tomatoes with added stuff” forever more. We shall see.
On a side note: I roasted a large jaune flame in the oven (in delicate slivers) yesterday.
Roasted jaune flame tomatoes are tangy and almost-caramelized in their sweetness.
Over-roasted jaune flame tomatoes, on the other hand (woops), uhm… “impart a complex, smoky flavour to soups and stews”. Yeah. We’ll go with that.
They’re in a bag in the freezer and will most likely find their way into a slow-cooker recipe once the weather really gets cold. ;-)
On that note, it’s time for me to sign off.
Up next: Parsley-walnut petso that freezes well. :-D
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
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