Ask Jackie Online by Jackie Clay Published 060725

Ask Jackie Online
By Jackie Clay

July 25, 2006
Jackie Clay

To Ask Jackie a question, please Click Here to visit her blog.

Taco sauce, barbecue sauce, and corn relish recipes

In your article, Canning 101, you mention canning taco sauce, barbecue sauce and corn relish. Can you share those recipes with us?

James Coffey
Jrc_21921 at

Sure Jim, I’d be glad to. Remember that you can adjust the seasonings to match your preferences.

Taco sauce:

8 cups pureed, seeded, peeled tomatoes, cooked down to a thick sauce
1 cup vinegar
1/2 sugar, honey, or corn syrup
2 Tbsp chili powder (as hot as you want; I use mild)
1 tsp. ground chipotle powder (chipotles are smoked, dried jalapenos)

Combine all ingredients in a large kettle. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until as thick as you want. As it thickens, stir frequently to avoid scorching. Pour hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4” of headroom. Cap. Process 30 minutes in boiling water bath.

Barbecue sauce:

2 gallons peeled, cored, chopped ripe tomatoes
4 cups chopped onions
3 cups chopped sweet bell peppers
2 cups brown sugar
2 hot chili peppers, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp dry mustard
2 Tbsp paprika
2 cups vinegar

You may vary sweetness or spices as your preferences dictate.

I use a Victorio food strainer and run my ripe tomatoes through it, removing peels, seeds, cores. I also use it to strain my cooked onions and peppers, removing skins or strings. If you don’t have a food mill, combine tomatoes, onions and peppers in a large kettle. Cook until vegetables are soft. Press through a fine sieve. Cook until mixture is reduced to about half, stirring as needed to prevent scorching as it thickens. Tie peppercorns in a bag, add with remaining ingredients, and cook slowly until mixture is thick; stir constantly when it is thickening down to prevent scorching. Remove spice bag and pour hot into hot pint jars, leaving 1/4” of headroom. Cap. Process pints for 20 minutes in a boiling water bath. Note: I make about four kinds of barbecue sauce; plain, honey, chipotle, and hickory smoked (use a little liquid smoke). You can play with this quite a lot; just try to keep the tomatoes and vinegar constant and not add too many vegetables so that the acidity remains high enough to process safely. Have fun!

Corn relish:

Like the barbecue sauce, there are several different corn relish recipes. Here is the most common:

2 quarts cut sweet corn
1 quart chopped cabbage
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped sweet green peppers
1 cup chopped sweet red peppers
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp dry mustard
1 Tbsp celery seed
1 Tbsp mustard seed
1 Tbsp turmeric
1 quart vinegar
1 cup water

Boil corn 5 minutes. Combine with remaining ingredients in large kettle. Bring to boil and then simmer 20 minutes until vegetables are cooked. Pack hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4” of headroom. Cap. Process 15 minutes in boiling water bath. If you wish, you may leave out the cabbage and substitute finely chopped celery.

I also make corn and black bean salsa, which I really like on tacos and other Mexican food. This is basically as above, but substitute cooked black beans for the cabbage and omit the mustard, mustard seed, and turmeric.

Home canning is not just about “survival,” but about living a happy, good life, knowing you can grow and process all of your own great recipes.

" Jackie

Canned tomato sauce recipe

I am looking for a recipe for canned tomato sauce. I read on the BHM site that you can lots of it, but could not find your recipe.

Gretchen Belken
Cbbelken at

Like the recipes above, I make several different recipes of “tomato” sauce, from plain pureed tomatoes with a little salt to Mexican and Italian. The basic difference is the addition of brown sugar to taste and spices for the different ethnic sauces. Here’s a basic “Jackie Clay” tomato sauce that works for most uses; plain is processed the same but has no additional ingredients, save for salt.

I use a Victorio food strainer, which removes the skins, seeds and cores from uncooked tomatoes. I also use it to remove the skins and strings from cooked peppers and onions, making smooth additions to the sauce. If you don’t, press cooked, peeled, cored tomatoes and cooked, seeded peppers and chopped, cooked onions through a fine sieve.

To each 10 pounds of tomato puree, add 3 c chopped onions, 1 c chopped green or red sweet pepper, 1 Tbsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, and as much brown sugar as suits your taste. Cook mixed puree of tomatoes and vegetables with other ingredients until as thick as you want. If you are unsure of your tomatoes’ acidity, add 1 Tbsp lemon juice to each pint jar. Be sure to stir your thickening sauce constantly or it may scorch. Ladle hot into hot jars, leaving 1/4” of headroom. Cap. Process pints for 35 minutes and quarts for 40 minutes.

" Jackie

Sour pickle recipe

I was wanting to try to make some sour pickles. I mean sour, like my grandma’s. I think she put alum in them. Do you know of a recipe for this?

Brownfinley at

The old-fashioned way to make sour pickles uses the fermenting method, as well as alum to make the pickles crisp. It does take more time than most people are willing to give pickles today, but will certainly work. Here’s the old recipe for sour pickles:

Sour pickles:

2 gallons small fresh cucumbers
1 pint salt
1 gallon boiling water
1 walnut-sized lump of alum
2 quarts vinegar
1 quart white sugar (optional)
1 Tbsp pickling spice
2 Tbsp celery seed
9 peppercorns

Split cucumbers lengthwise, no matter how small they are. Add the salt to the boiling water and pour it over the cucumbers. Let stand one week, keeping cucumbers well covered with brine. Use a crock or glass bowl.

Drain and boil brine. Again pour over pickles and let stand 24 hours. Drain again. Dissolve alum in boiling water and pour it over the pickles. Let stand for 24 hours.

Drain pickles and mix vinegar with spices, tied in a spice bag, and boil. Do this for four mornings, each time pouring off the liquid, reboiling it, and pouring it back over the pickles.

Then drain pickles and pack into a jar. Reheat the brine, remove the spice bag and pour it over the pickles, leaving 1/2” of headroom. Cap. Process pickles in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

For a shorter version, dissolve sugar in vinegar (you may omit all or part of the sugar, depending on how sour you want your pickles). Add spices, tied in a bag. Bring to a boil. Add drained cukes and boil 3 minutes. Pour into a crock and let stand three days. Each day, drain off liquid, bring to a boil, and pour again over cukes. Drain cukes and pack into hot jars, leaving 1/4” of headroom. Remove spice bag from vinegar mix, and bring vinegar to a boil. Pour over cukes, leaving 1/4” of headroom. Cap and process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath. No alum is used. The alum was used to keep cukes crisp during long brining.

" Jackie

Canning hot peppers

Any information on canning hot peppers with lemon and olive oil?

Felix M. Carbon
Fd1185 at

I have one recipe for you, but you can adjust it to your preferences.

Pickled hot peppers:

4 quarts hot peppers; red, green or yellow
1 1/2 cups canning salt
1 gallon cold water
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cloves garlic
1 cup sliced lemon, peel and all, seeded
2 Tbsp olive oil
10 cups vinegar

Cut two small slits in each pepper. Dissolve salt in one gallon ice water, pour on peppers, and let stand in cool place overnight. Drain and rinse. Drain thoroughly. Combine remaining ingredients in a large kettle. Simmer 15 minutes. Pack hot pepper and lemon into hot jars, leaving 1/4” of headroom. Pour vinegar onto peppers, leaving 1/4” of headroom. Remove any air bubbles. Cap. Process pints 10 minutes in boiling water bath.


" Jackie

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