Natcrack chilli sauce (v)
This chilli sauce is dedicated to a wonderful, chilli aficionado friend. She knows who she is.
The scotch bonnet chillies add a wonderfully fruity flavour but are thin fleshed so the cherry bombs add body and juiciness to the final sauce. If you can't find these varieties you could substitute other chillies with a scoville rating of 350,000.
6-8 230ml jars
1kg red, orange and yellow scotch bonnet chillies in equal quantities
1kg cherry bomb chillies or similar with 350,000 scoville rating
5 large shallots
2 heads garlic
230ml white wine vinegar
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste (if you find your chillies aren't naturally sweet enough)
What to do
Place your washed glass jars in a large pot and cover with cold water, making sure there are no air bubbles in any of the jars. Place the pot over a medium to high heat and bring to the boil. While the jars are sterilising blitze all the ingredients in a food processor - how much is up to you. We like our sauce to have a fine grained texture but you could keep going to make it smoother.
When the water in the pot comes to the boil turn the heat off. Carefully lift out a jar using tongs, pour off any hot water and place on a heat resistant surface. Immediately fill the jar with chilli paste using a jam funnel or small jug and then seal. Continue with the remaining jars but leave the last jar open.
Check the level of the water in the pot and pour off enough water so that your open jar won't be flooded when you put it in. Return all the jars to the pot standing upright. Bring the pot to a simmer over a medium to low flame and warm the jars until their internal temperature reaches 72ºC (161ºF). If you have a food thermometer with a temperature alarm you can just leave the probe in the open jar until the alarm sounds, otherwise test your open jar periodically.
Remove the jars with tongs, seal the open one and allow all of them to cool. You can use the sauce right away but leaving them for a month or two will improve the flavour even more. Keep them stored somewhere dark and cool.