Bottling Sauce

My vegie garden has been a bit disappointing this year.  My tomato bushes are loaded with fruit, but most of it is still quite green.  I love to make tomato sauce, and  was getting quite worried that my tomatoes wouldn’t ripen, before the weather turned cold.  So I lashed out and purchased a 10kg box of Romas.

Everyone has their favourite tomato sauce recipe…. But here’s mine!

9 kg chopped tomatoes – my little scales only take 1 kg of tomatoes before they start rolling out, so I had to repeat 10 times!

Add 1.5 kg chopped onions, and about 100g chopped garlic.

Boil for about 5 hours!

Cooking tomatoes for sauceAs you can see, by now the sauce has reduced quite a bit, and is a deep rich red colour.  Now its time to sieve it, to remove the skins and seeds.  I actually use a muellie(no idea if I am spelling that right??)  with reasonably fine holes.  Its a very messy job, but I really believe it is better that trying to peel all your tomatoes before you cook them!

Seiving tomatoes for sauceAs you can see in the pic above, there’s not a lot left after I’ve turned that handle a few times.  The chooks had fun scratching through all the left over skins.

Then its back on the stove, with the spices, vinegar and sugar.  I add ground cloves, ground ginger, and some chilli to mine, but you can really use what ever takes your fancy – whatever spices appeal to you.   I use about 4 cups of vinegar, and about 1.5 kg of sugar.

Once all the ingredients are in, I slowly bring it up to a simmer, and let it simmer for about an hour, until it has reduced even further, and has darkened up in colour.  I look at the consistency also, is it a good “pouring” consistency??  Then its bottling time!  I have a german brother in-law and when he was staying with us at christmas he discovered that Aldi sold a type of german beer that he loved (Flensburger – it was very good!).  As soon as I saw them I thought they would make great sauce bottles, so fingers crossed they have all sealed okay!  Before I poured the sauce mixture in the bottles I washed them thoroughly in the sink, and then sat them in a hot oven for about 1/2 an hour.  This has always worked for me in the past with regards to sterilisation, but please use whatever method you believe to be best.

Tomato sauce spices

Tomato sauce making

So I have 13 of the Flensburger beer bottles and 4 other 500ml bottles so I have just over 6 litres of tomato sauce.  Hopefully that should last us the year, although I do love giving it to friends and family as gifts or in return for favours.  And the kids have been using it as a dip today too, with dry bikkies so it may not last as long as I hope.

Categories: Cooking and Preserving | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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