We grow Alberto's Locoto which are hardier than most and we grow them outdoors. They are particularly good for making chilli sauce as they are large and thick fleshed. Unfortunately we didn't manage to get them ripe this year so we picked them green and have been waiting for them to ripen in our not so warm house. Today was the day we could wait no longer and luckily many of them were nice and red.
My chief taster helped out a bit with this one, he got the fun job of deseeding all the chillies!
This is how I do it:
- Halved and deseeded 2 lb hot red Locoto chillies (striclty speaking I didn't do this bit).
- Skinned 2 sweet red peppers by grilling them until skins were black and blistered then put them in a plastic bag for 5 mins (still messy but a lot easier to skin this way).
- Peeled 8oz shallots and quartered.
- Peeled 8 large cloves of garlic and quartered.
- Peeled and cored 1 large cooking apple (unnamed Cornish variety) and cut into pieces.
- Put all of this into a large saucepan together with 1/2 pt water, 3 bay leaves and several sprigs of thyme.
- Simmered this for 1/2 an hour.
- Added 1/2 pt red wine vinegar and 1 tsp sea salt.
- Simmered for about another 1/2 hour.
- Removed bay leaves and thyme.
- Pureed mixture using hand held blender.
- Mixed 2 level tsp arrowroot with a tbsp red wine vinegar until blended.
- Stirred this into chilli mixture and simmered for further 3 mins until sauce had thickened slightly.
- Poured into 7 clean smallish sterilised glass bottles and capped.
- Heat processed by placing bottles into a large saucepan filled with enough water so that bottles were 3/4 covered. Bought water up to boiling point and simmered for 20 mins (stored in a cool dark place, this should last for at least 18 months).
You can make this sauce milder by using more red peppers and less chillies. The red peppers give the sauce a wonderful colour and help to flavour it. The quantities I have used make for a light ketchup type consistency, but you can make it thicker or runnier by adding more or less arrowroot. I've also made a runnier version of this sauce using our yellow Fatalii chillies and yellow sweet peppers - it worked well but was very very hot so we only use it for cooking. My tongue is now burning from tasting the sauce - not the hottest sauce in the world, but you generally don't need a great deal of it! In my humble opinion, this is the best chilli sauce I've ever tasted.