Hot & Smoky Strawberry Sauce

 

 

I know it’s becoming monotonous… hot mango saucehot plum sauce… but once you discover the taste of a home-made sauce, you’ll want to transform every existing fruit this way. Well, almost every fruit… As much as I love strawberries in sweet dishes or simply eaten fresh and raw, it has never been my candidate for any  savoury transformation.

Strawberry BBQ Sauce? There seemed to be quite a lot of these recipes on the web. I was very curious and finally decided to try out the strawberries in a savoury sauce. Since their season is coming to its the end, I thought “it’s now or never” and bought a small “experimental” punnet. Since all the BBQ sauce recipes looked unconvincing, I decided to forget them and adapt my own very simple hot sauce recipe I use for example with mango.

To save the BBQ idea, I added medium hot aji panca dried peppers from Peru which have a particular, smoky flavour (and look a bit scary!).

I don’t know what role the peppers’ choice played in it, but this hot sauce is the biggest and yummiest surprise in my preserving experience! Not only do the hot pepper and vinegar go well with this fruit, they actually boost to the maximum the strawberry taste and aroma! In short: I discovered the wild side of the strawberry!

Preparation: 45 minutes+jars processing

Ingredients:

300g strawberries

100 – 150g white sugar

200 ml (white) wine or cider vinegar (mine was 4,5%)

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 whole dried aji panca peppers without stems and seeds (you can use any kind of  medium hot dried peppers)

Wash the strawberries, remove the caps and stems.

Put all the vinegar and 100g sugar in a pan, add the whole peppers and let them simmer for 10 minutes on a very low heat. Put aside.

Mix the warm liquid in a blender, add the strawberries and salt, mix again. Pour back to the pan and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Check if the sauce is sweet enough and, if necessary, add more sugar (or vinegar if you think it’s too sweet). Let it simmer for 10 more minutes.

The sauce will take an orangy hue, ressembling tomato sauce.

/At this point you can (after the sauce has cooled down) either freeze it, or keep it in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or process it in the jars, as described below, and store it in your pantry for at least a year!/

Pour the sauce, still hot, into sterilised jars. Cover with lids. Leave the jars to cool.

Place the cool jars into a big pan, bottom lined with an old kitchen towel folded in two (this will prevent the jars from breaking), cover up with hot – but not boiling- water to the level just below the lid. Bring to boil and keep on a very low heat, in simmering water, for around 20 minutes.
Stick on self-adhesive labels, write the name of the sauce and don’t forget to mark the date.

Use this sauce on grilled meat, with poultry, on toast, on open sandwiches, with fried tofu (you’ll never look at tofu the same way again!), as a dip for dumplings, spring rolls, vegetables or savoury biscuits…