Friday, August 30, 2013

Garden-Grown Homemade Tomato Sauce

We cannot even begin to eat all of the tomatoes we've harvested this year. What a blessing that is, especially compared to last year, where we got maybe 2 a day, 5 on a really good day. This year, I'm routinely pulling 25-30 tomatoes every two days. All that donkey poo and chipped wood is really paying off.

So anywhoozles, today at lunch time I took about 30 minutes to make some DIY sauce. Deemed "rustic" by the recipe creator, this sauce comes out bright red, sweet, and VERY tasty. I got the "recipe," so to speak, from this page. I thought I'd re-post with pictures, and few details on my own modifications.

To make it MY way, I took a few big bowls of tomatoes, a 5-gallon stock pot, a NutriBullet, a plate with rounded-up edges (so them juices dern't spill), and a knife. Oh, and a bowl for putting the tops in. And a strainer for warshing. Gah! And some towels to dry stuff with. I think that's it. Oh yeah, and a stovetop.

Git all yer stuffs t'gither first, y'all.
Step 1: Cut the tomatoes and liquefy 'em.
Yup, that's right. You'll be cooking the living snot out of these tomatoes, and having them as gently pureed liquidized as possible helps the cook-down go better, and turns it into a creamier, smoother sauce.

Actually, lemme backtrack. Step 0 is to wash and ready the tomatoes. Here's where the strainer and towel #1 come into play. I washed them a strainerful at a time, and set the strainer on a towel to avoid messes whilst cutting.

The strainer helps with washing, the towel absorbs water from the washing,
and the bowl keeps the tops from making a mess. Go efficiency!

Go ahead and cut the washed tomatoes into about 1" chunks for the NutriBullet (or the NB, as we'll call it). Cut the stemmy part of the tomato off first, and either compost it or feed it to the chicken like I did. Smaller varieties like cherry and grape you can just chuck in whole. The NB does a great job decimating foodstuffs. They call it "extraction." I call it total destruction. Make sure to add in everything - skins, seeds, the whole 9 yards.

A rough, large chop for the NB is A-OK, BTW. LMNOP.
Once very softly blended utterly obliterated (about 15-20 seconds in the NB outta do it), dump the tomato liquid into the stock pot.

The gently stirred absolutely thrashed tomato liquid should be frothy and slightly pinkish in color.

Repeat until you go through every tomato you're gonna add. You'll likely need to clean off the NB with every liquification that you do. I did.

This is great for using over-ripe, unsightly, scarred, and weird looking tomatoes that don't really work anywhere else. Like Frankentomato here:

"Puttin on the ritz!"
I filled up the stock pot really full. Set it to simmer for about 8 hours. My first batch was too low on the heat, and it took 10. Stir occasionally.

Oh, that reminds me....hang on......ok, I'm back. :)

You'll have a great-smelling, rich, frothy sauce, ready to reduce.

Nom nom nom.
Reduce it by around half, depending on the thickness you;re looking for, knowing that it will thicken again when cooled. As the sauce level goes down, you'll get some deposits on the walls of the pot. Get something and scrape it on it! The caramelized flavor only adds to the richness of the sauce.

When you're ready, chill it down, and pack it up. I set it to cool on the counter for an hour or so, then cooled it overnight in the fridge. Then I put it in freezer bags, filled with 4 cups each, and stacked flat in the freezer. It's a great space saver that way, but do whatever works best.

You could just eat it right there. Hmmm.....

No comments:

Post a Comment