Canning Tomato Sauce and Salsa

by Sarah on November 6, 2009

Now, I realize this post is um….about 2 months late and all, but c’mon, cut a lady a little slack.  I’ve been busy.  And also, I thought these pictures got deleted.  Which was very upsetting because this was a loooong day of tomato, if you catch my drift.  But, since I have been living on the sofa for the past 7 days with the flu, I’ve had some spare time to sort through all my cooking and non-cooking projects to share with you all……especially since no one wants to eat anything that my germy paws touch this week.  So yes, that means we’re back to the end-of-the-summer tomatoes.  And CANNING.

I have to confess, I was a bit petrified to start canning without an actual human that had done it before.  Mainly because one of my aunts once got me scared straight about botulism.  You know, I’m really not interested in poisoning my family.  Well, most of the time.  But I digress.  Usually I just make stuff and freeze it for use in the winter, but recently we’ve been buying meat directly from the farmers and it tends to fill up the freezer.  Canning was going to have to happen if I wanted tomato sauce this winter.  I went to a pickling and canning class through the UC Davis Extension program and got this basic advice:  Use recipes from the canning companies, the USDA or universities.  You know, so you don’t poison yourself.  Sound advice.

I purchased the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. Let’s get started.

I had probably 10 pounds of tomatoes from the yard, but I purchased another 20 pounds at the farmer’s market.  I think G said he got them for about $5 because it was the older ones.  Whatever it was, it was a steal.

The recipe I used was for “Seasoned Tomato Sauce”.  I was too chicken to double it because the book says not to alter the ingredients or quantities or you may “produce a product that isn’t safe to eat”.  So I just made 2 separate batches.
Core and quarter tomatoes and weigh out 10 pounds.
Put 6-10 quartered tomatoes into a stainless steel pot and crush to release juices, stirring constantly.  Bring to a boil over high heat.

Add additional tomatoes, crushing and stirring constantly while maintaining a vigorous boil.

When all the tomatoes have been added, stir in onions, garlic, oregano, bay leaves, salt and pepper, sugar and red pepper flakes.  Return to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat to medium and boil, stirring frequently, until the sauce is reduced by half, about 2 hours.
Meanwhile……prepare the jars
Here’s what the sauce should look like after it’s reduced.
Working in batches, press the tomato mixture through a food mill (I love this thing) or a sieve to remove the skins and seeds.
See how easy it is?  And it all comes apart and goes in the dishwasher.  Totally awesome.
Back in the pot.  Bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.
Before filling each jar with sauce, add 1 Tbsp bottled lemon juice to the hot jar.

 

This funnel thing is helpful.

 

Ladle hot sauce into prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Wipe the rims of the jars.
Center the prepared lids on the jars.
Screw the bands down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
Place jars in canner, ensuring that they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process for 35 minutes.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
Oh crap.  I still have tomatoes.  What to do, what to do?  I make salsa.  Zesty Salsa.
Blanch and peel the tomatoes.  Remember this?  Make an X on the bottoms.
Toss them in boiling water for a minute, working in batches.
Then into ice water and peel.  See, the skins just slip off.
Most of this stuff was in the yard, thankfully.  Bell peppers, onions, chili peppers, garlic, cilantro.  Chop it up and set aside.
Chop the tomatoes.
10 cups of tomatoes, into the pot.
Add the other veg.
Add 1 1/4 cups cider vinegar.
And hot pepper sauce, to taste.  I used garlic Tabasco.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
(Prepare jars and lids, as above recipe)
Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Wipe rim.  Put on lids, same as above.
Place jars in canner, making sure they are covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process for 15 minutes.  Remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.
10 hours later…..Many jars of summer tomato goodness, ready for use in the coming months of unforgiving California winter.

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~All recipes from  the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving~

Seasoned Tomato Sauce

10 lbs. tomatoes, cored
2 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
Bottled lemon juice

1.  Wash and sort tomatoes, removing any bruised or discolored product.  Quarter 6 tomatoes and place in a large stainless steel pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Using a potato masher, crush tomatoes to release juices, stirring constantly.  While maintaining a boil and stirring to prevent burning, quarter additional tomatoes, adding them to the pot as you work.  Make sure the mixture continues to boil vigorously while you add, stir and crush the remaining tomatoes.  When all tomatoes have been added, stir in onions, garlic, oregano, bay leaves, salt black pepper, sugar and red pepper flakes.  Return to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to medium and boil, stirring frequently, until sauce is reduced by half and thickens slightly, about 2 hours.

2.  Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars and lids.

3.   Working in batches, press tomato mixture through a fine sieve or food mill to remove skins and seeds.  Discard peel and seeds.

4.  Return mix to pot and bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.

5.  Before filling each jar with tomato sauce, add 1 Tbsp bottled lemon juice.  Ladle hot sauce into prepared jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar.  Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

6.  Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process for 35 minutes.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

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Zesty Salsa

10 cups chopped cored peeled tomatoes
5 cups chopped seeded bell peppers
5 cups chopped onions
2 1/2 cups chopped chili peppers, seeded if you wish
1 1/4 cups cider vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp cilantro, finely chopped
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp hot pepper sauce (or to taste–I used more)

1.  Prepare canner, jars and lids.

2.  In a large stainless steel pot, combine tomatoes, pepper, onion, vinegar, garlic, cilantro, salt, and pepper sauce.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.

3.  Ladle hot salsa into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace.  Wipe rim.  Center lid on jar.  Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.

4.  Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water.  Bring to a boil and process jars for 15 minutes.  Remove canner lid.  Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.


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