This is an old-fashioned Tomato Chilli Sauce recipe that has been handed down in my family for 3 generations, and I hope will continue to be for many more. This relish has a unique flavour that I have never found in a store-bought brand, and uses fresh ripened tomatoes, onions, celery, a variety of sweet and hot peppers, and spices to make a very savoury, slightly sweet relish.
The spices are a blend of curry, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and you can easily adjust the heat by adding a bit extra cayenne and even adding more hot peppers. The brown sugar makes it slightly sweet and works really well when blended with the hot peppers and curry. It’s kind of like a chutney for that matter.
I personally like to chop all vegetables into very fine pieces, although the original recipe calls for them to be grated using a vegetable grater. I currently don’t own a vegetable grater but do remember my Mom using one to make this recipe. If you are chopping the hot peppers – be sure to wear gloves as the juice from the hot peppers will stick to your hands – and trust me – it stings if not washed thoroughly right away. I found just using dishwashing soap worked quite well. This blends the peppers together nicely too.
This tomato chill sauce is a great accompaniment to scrambled eggs, as a relish for cheese trays, hamburgers and hot dogs, a classic Canadian tourtiere, roast beef, and a variety of sandwiches. Whatever you want to put it on really!
Once the mixture has simmered for a couple of hours or so, let cool. If you like a slightly less chunky recipe, you can also use a hand blender to slightly purée. While cooling I usually prepare the mason jars as outlined below. The jars are filled and processed following a traditional water bath method to ensure the mixture is packed hot and then sealed for at least 10 minutes. Once sealed you will want to store in a cool dark location.
Such a nice way to use late summer harvest vegetables and canning them lets you enjoy them all year!
Tomato Chilli Sauce
Tomato Chilli Sauce Ingredients
- 2 large Spanish or White onions diced finely
- 1 or 2 Hot Banana peppers diced finely
- 2 Red Sheppard peppers diced finely
- 1 Green Pepper diced finely
- 2 large Stalks of celery diced finely
- 1 tbsp Curry powder
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
- 1 cup Apple Cider vinegar
- 2 cups Brown sugar
- 16 cups Peeled finely diced tomatoes
- 3 tbsp Pickling Spice wrapped securely in cheese cloth
Making the Tomato Chilli Sauce
- Finely chop onions, peppers, and celery and add to a large canning pot.
- Add spices, vinegar, sugar, and stir well to blend evenly. Bring to medium-low heat.
- Add tomatoes and stir to blend into mixture.
- Drop the pickling spice bag into the vegetable mixture. Let mixture simmer covered on low for about 2 hours until the veg has softened. * To make the pickling spice bag cut one large piece of cheesecloth and fold over to make a square. Place 3 tablespoons of pickling spice in the center. Bring the ends of the cloth together to the centre ensuring all sides are firmly closed, and then tie securely with kitchen twine or use an elastic.
- Once completed remove the pickling bag and discard. Set aside relish to cool while you prep the jars for final canning. *If you would like a slightly less chunky texture you can use a handblender at this point to slightly puree.
Canning Tomato Chilli Sauce
- While the Chilli sauce is simmering you will want to prep the canning jars, funnel and tongs. Wash all items in hot soapy water.
- Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Once the jars, tongs and funnel are washed and thoroughly rinsed you can place them face up on a foil covered cookie sheet and pop in the oven for about 20 minutes.
- Prepare a separate pot for the metal lids to be sterilized prior to capping the jars. The lids will need to be brought to slow boil and then kept warm to put on to the jars.
- Remove the jars from the oven and use a sterilized funnel to pour the mixture into the jars filling them about 1/4 inch below the top. Once filled top each jar with the lid and tighten.
- Add each jar to water bath pot using a canning rack and make sure it is filled at least 1 inch above each jar. Boil for about 10 minutes and let sit for about 5 minutes before removing with the tongs. Transfer jars back to the foil lined cookie sheet and let sit for about 24 hours. You should hear a popping sound as the lids seal pull themselves down for a tight seal. You should not be able to press down and move the lids - and if any of the jars are not sealed properly - you should transfer them into the fridge and use within the next few weeks. Store properly sealed jars in a cool dark location.
- If you would like a slightly less chunky texture you can puree the cooked tomato chilli sauce with a hand blender.
- This tomato chilli sauce goes great with fried or scrambled eggs, on sandwiches, with roast beef or even to spice up an egg salad.