A smoked barbecue sauce
full of Habanero and Laphroaig aroma’s…
Sweet yet sour, hot yet smokey,
but above all incredibly versatile!
Whenever there’s new Habanero harvest, it’s time to make new hot sauces! Each year I try to do some new things and I make some of my favourites again or make a slight variation on the theme. Today’s hot sauce shares quite a few of the ingredients with last year’s Smokey Hot Italian Fire sauce, but it’s also different in many ways. I really wanted to go for another level of smokiness, something that really suits a juicy steak from the barbecue you know? Now I tend to marinate my steak in whiskey, so why not put smokey whiskey into my hot sauce? Blend it up with plenty of vegetables, something sweet, something sour and a nice load of Habanero and Habanada peppers! In this one I went for 4 Habanero Red and 6 Habanero burning bush, along with 10 Habanada peppers. The latter are very interesting, as they have the full Habanero flavour but none of the spiciness. This means you can make any dish taste like habanero while keeping heat levels moderate for those who want to do so! As always, adjust the number and type of peppers to your personal flavour.
The ingredients shown below are for a little more than 1 litre of hot sauce. While that might seem like a lot, the acidity of the vinegar and the lime make for a bottle that will easily stay fresh over a year in the fridge and that will even mature as it slowly ferments a little. Keep an eye open for that process, as you’ll gradually notice there’s a sweet spot for you in terms of the age of your sauce.
- 3 Tomatoes
- 3 Onions
- 2 Red Bell Peppers
- 4 Cloves of Garlic
- 2 Stalks Celery (forgot them in this picture)
- Juice of 3 Limes
- Some fresh Parsley
- Some fresh Thyme
- A tin of Tomato Concentrate
- 100 ml of Laphroaig
- 150 ml of Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 Table spoons of (pear) Syrup
- 2 Coffee spoons of smoked bell pepper powder
- Peppers to taste. I used 10 Habanero’s and 10 Habanada’s this time
- Salt to taste
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, making hot sauces is super easy and quick. The same applies to this one! Throw all the ingredients into your blender and half of the work is done.
As shown in the picture, I’ve started with all the vegetables in the blender, being the lime juice, onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, thyme, celery, parsley, garlic and of course the chili peppers. As they already fill up the blender decently, I’ve first blended these before adding the remaining ingredients. After that initial step I added the remaining ingredients shown above and blended all to one smooth mix as shown on the right.
All that remains to have this one boiling in for about half an hour, or however long you wish to have the desired consistency and level of spiciness. Boiling in longer would probably even increase the effect of a slower burn, but I must say this one already does great at slow burning with a decent initial kick. The way I like it!
I went for a second round of mixing during the boiling in, when everything was at low fire. I decided to bottle the sauce as is, but should you prefer a more liquid sauce without any pulp, you can just filter this one. Alternatively, you could also not blend some of the ingredients and have a chunky version of this sauce.
Now I’ve mentioned before that I pretty much like any hot sauce on an omelette, but now you see some evidence! The sauce was made yesterday and put to the test this morning. This sauce has a pronounced habanero flavour, probably boosted by the amount of Habanada peppers added to it. It also has the smokey touch of the whiskey, the sweet touch of the syrup and the good initial punch and long afterburn of Habanero. So yes, I like this one a lot! Why didn’t I try this before?
- Try this one with any grilled meat from the barbecue, it’s a match made in heaven!
- Add this into a pasta sauce when cooking or on the plate afterwards for some extra kick of spice!
- Try on a sandwich with ham, cheese, whatever you like!