Seasoned Tomato Sauce

Last night was a canning EXTRAVAGANZA! An adventure in awesomeness! A deed of deliciousness! A ….slight screw up on one recipe, but we’ll get to that. I was canning with a friend, so I showed up at her house with 60 pounds of tomatoes! This sauce is what we did with half of them. The recipe is super nice if you don’t like a chunky sauce. You an still reduce it to a thick enough sauce, but it’s not chunky because you run it through a strainer after cooking it. It is also from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving like many of my faves.

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Ingredients:

10 pounds of tomatoes, cored
2.5 cups finely chopped onions
3 cloves minced garlic
1.5 tsp dried oregano (I like more personally)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes

We did 30 lbs so exactly tripled the recipe. However, we got about 11 pints even though the recipe said it would make 6, so we must have reduced it longer.

Here is what we did:

Wash and core the tomatoes. Quarter the tomatoes and fill the pot one layer deep. Crush the tomatoes with a potato masher, or in our case a plastic cup because I forgot the masher, and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir constantly! Here is our mistake, we got some burnage happening on the bottom of the pot. Burnt=bad! Continue adding, crushing, stirring, adding, crushing, stirring, adding, stirring, crushing, adding, stirring, adding, crushing, stirring, adding, stirring, crushing, adding, crushing, stirring, adding, stirring, crushing, adding, stirring, crushing, stirring, until all the tomatoes are in the pot. Maintain a boil the whole time and stir!

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We had tripled the recipe so had this going in three pots. Once the tomatoes are all added, add the chopped onions and spices (everything but the lemon juice). You are allowed to add more garlic, or oregano, or add some basil or parsley if you desire as well. Reduce the heat to medium after you have it boiling again so you don’t burn the sauce! To get a good consistency, reduce by about half, which takes 2 or so hours. We did another recipe now, so there is certainly time, just watch it and stir so it doesn’t burn.

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mmm sauce. After it is done reducing, remove it from the heat. Prepare the canner, jars and lids.

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In batches, run it through a strainer/food mill. Using Mr. Victario we found that not all the good stuff strained out the first go around, so we actually put it through a few times. With just a strainer you are pressing it through I imagine this would be less of an issue.

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Once you’ve got all the good stuff, return the sauce to a boil. This is important because the processing time is based on hot sauce, not lukewarm sauce, so don’t be lazy and can the warm sauce or you could be making an unsafe product.

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Before filling each jar with sauce, add one tablespoon of bottled lemon juice (or 1/4 tsp citric acid if you prefer) to each hot jar.

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Then fill each jar leaving a half inch head space. Wipe the rims, apply the lids, and tighten the bands finger tip tight.

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Place the jars in the canner, covered by at least 1-2 inches of water and bring to a full rolling boil. Process for 35 minutes (for those of us less than 1000 feet in altitude). After 35 minutes turn off the heat, remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes, and remove the jars to a hot pad or towel. Listen to the pings! PING PING PING!

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12-24 hours later, check the seals, remove the bands and wipe down the jars; label and store! Enjoy all winter (or as long as you manage to make them last).

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