Nothing gets the heart pumping, the skin flushing, the pupils dilating and rivulets of perspiration beading down a brow quite like my favourite of spices, the chilli. It can liven up any dish; pizza and pasta, soups and salads, curries, casseroles and even cocktails, enhancing the flavours and giving a zing to the senses. We Barbarians understand that chillies are not for everyone’s pallet just as not everyone can grow a beard, or chest hair. What I’m actually saying is, if you don’t like chillies… You aren’t really a man! And this is fine; but you’re probably more comfortable sipping a shandy with our country’s Minister for Women. For those that prefer to douse their diet with a seasoning of spice… read on.
The Mesoamericans knew the power of these fiery bad boys, so much so that they even tried to use them as a chemical weapon against the conquistadores… It didn’t work, but it was worth a shot. Soon enough, chillies were traded worldwide, to Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe where cooks where more than happy to experiment with these incendiary berries. Today, I rarely have a dish that I don’t splash a dash of hot sauce onto and over the years I’ve developed a hot sauce recipe that I think is just about perfect, not too hot so as to overpower the dish, but with a powerful punch.
Get ready to Spice Up Your Meal with a homemade Hot Sauce Injection.
Culinary Barbarian’s Hot Sauce Injection
Stick Mixer/ Blender
2 2ltr Sealable Hinged Jars
2ltr Sealable hinged jar
Stainless Steel Funnel
60cc Syringes (available from your chemist)
Rubber Gloves (trust me)
300g Birds Eye or Thai Chillies
300g Red Habanero Chillies
3 garlic cloves
1/3 cup course sea salt
2 cups vinegar
2 cups water.
Ensure you wear rubber disposable gloves while handling the chillies, especially the habaneros.
- Sterilise the 2ltr jar and the seals with boiling water and empty when cool enough to touch.
- De-stem all of your chillies and discard the stalks, filling the 2ltr jar with the de-stemmed chillies. You should have enough to fill approximately ¾ of the way up the jar.
- Toss in the garlic and salt and process with the stick mixer until ground to a fine paste. Wipe the lip of the jar with paper towel and hot water and seal.
- Leave in a warm dark place for two weeks like the bottom of the pantry, burping the jar once a day to release carbon dioxide. What we are doing is lacto fermenting the chillies, getting them to release their juices and oils. You may hear a slight fizz during this time or even some foaming, this is normal.
- After 2 week add 1 cup of vinegar and 1 cup of sterilised water (boiled and allowed to cool). Seal the jar and shake to mix, then return to the cupboard for another week.
- After a week, strain the mixture through the sieve into your second sterilised jar, retaining both the liquor and the pulp. Set the jar of liquor aside for later blending. Return the pulp back to its original jar and add a further cup of vinegar and sterilised water for another week to remove the last of the goodness.
- Week four, strain the remaining mixture and blend with the first week’s liquor. Discard the pulp. This should result in just over a litre of hot sauce.
- To package, I like to use large 60cc syringes available at your chemist; they’re already sterile and have an exact dosage indicator on the side. Just plunge and cap.