Whenever Justin or I go grocery shopping, we always hit the “reduced produce” aisle. The best thing about the reduced produce aisle is that much of the stuff just looks bad, but isn’t. At least not yet. Tonight, they had a bunch of hot peppers that were all wrinkled and turning red (the best kind!). There were about 2.5lb of these just waiting to be made into pepper sauce.
For comparison, our favorite commercial hot sauce is around $4 per 12oz, approximately 33 cents per oz, which isn’t bad in the big scheme of things. But these 2.5lbs made approximately 1/2 gallon (2 quarts), which comes out to about 4cents per oz., which is significantly less expensive, even if you factor in some cooking time (about a half hour) and the energy cost of the stove (I have no idea, but it can’t be much.
There isn’t really a recipe, per se, for this sauce, but basically, what you want to do is use about a half cup of chopped onion, a couple cloves of garlic, and about a teaspoon of salt per pound or so of peppers. You’ll want to sautee the onion, garlic & peppers in a little bit of oil, and then add enough water to not-quite-cover. Keep track of how much water that is, because you’ll use half that amount in vinegar after you puree the vegetables. Boil the vegetables until they are very soft, then puree, then add the vinegar; return the veg to the pot and cook for just a few minutes to let the flavors blend. Then you can either just pour directly into jars with the seeds and pulp, or you can mill out the seeds and skins, then pour into jars.
You can really use any hot pepper, or a mixture of hot peppers, to this formula. Go to town! Experiment! The sauce will last in the fridge for about six months.