Here’s to recipe #3 in our summer canning series! I have to be honest, I am a complete snob when it comes to salsa. It has to be not too chunky, not too watery. Spicy enough that you enjoy the kick, but not so spicy you can’t taste any of the flavors. No I’m not a Mexican, but I love my salsa and I’m picky about how it needs to taste. My father-in-law, Larry Lopp, put this recipe together years ago and it quickly become a summer staple in Cale’s family kitchen when he was growing up. Although I’m typically a traditional Cilantro & Lime Salsa girl, I have really come to love the robust and hearty flavors in this smoky salsa. Larry passed away a few years ago, but his recipe continues on every summer as we anxiously await to harvest our garden peppers.
Some of my fondest memories with Larry include three of his favorite things; family, fireworks, and good food!
This one’s for you Granddad. xoxo
If you have never made a canned recipe in the slow cooker let me tell you it is awesome! Salsa is so hard cause it can take you an entire day to cut everything up and then actually process the salsa. I really love that you can chop everything up, clean up while the salsa is cooking, and get ready for round 2 a bit later in the day. A lot of canning recipes–like jam–force you to be ready to can as soon as the liquid is hot. I love that this recipe allows you to break up the long process so you don’t feel nearly as rushed.
Also, a good salsa has to marinate for a while. With this recipe you can tweak it and add more spices or peppers as it cooks in the slow cooker. This process still gets the liquid nice and hot, but you can taste test it as you go. Just like our Cilantro & Lime Vinegar Free Salsa, this recipe is truly flexible and forgiving.
Smokehouse Garden Salsa
Yields: About 6-8 Pint Jars
- 20 tomatoes (1/2 peeled, 1/2 not, and then I hand diced 1/2 and used the juicer to chop/blend the other 1/2)
- 1 large onion
- 12 jalapeño peppers (without seeds)
- 2 large poblano peppers
- 4 large Anaheim chilies (2 with seeds for heat, 2 without)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
- 8 garlic gloves
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce (gives it that smokehouse flavor)
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1 small can tomato paste for thickening (if needed)
STEP 1: Blend and chop the tomatoes, then add to the slow cooker. If you want it really chunky, chop more and blend less.
STEP 2: Blend and dice the peppers and onions together, then add them to the slow cooker. This is where you get a good idea of your thickness/consistency. Feel free to add more if you need too!
STEP 3: Add the salt, chili powder, sugar, garlic gloves, Worcestershire Sauce, and vinegar.
STEP 4: Cook on high for about 4 hours. I know you’ll be tempted to cook it on low overnight, but the salsa will have an overcooked/burnt taste to it. Do a taste test about an hour in, and see if it’s hot enough or needs more? You can always add in more jalapneos, habaneros, or even chili powder to bring up the heat. A good rule of thumb is that if it doesn’t smell spicy it probably isn’t hot enough!
STEP 5: Bring a boiling-water caner or large sauce pot, half-full with water, to a simmer (takes about 30 minutes). Fill a small sauce pan with 1 in of warm water. Keeping it on medium-low heat set the lids in the hot bath until you are ready to place on the hot jars.
STEP 6: Once the water is boiling place as many empty jars as you can (might have to do two batches of jars at a time) in the simmering water. This is a quick way to heat up the empty jars just before you fill them up with salsa. Remove the jars when your salsa is finished cooking for 4 hours.
STEP 8: Pour hot salsa into hot sterilized jars, within 1/2 inch from the top. Remove any air bubbles by moving a wooden or plastic (not metal!) utensil up and down the middle of the jar. Seal with hot lids and apply screw bands.
STEP 9: Process in a water bath for 15 minutes.
STEP 10: Remove and let the jars completely cool and seal for 12-24 hours. If a jar lid still pops up and down when you press on it, after the cooling stage, the jar did not seal properly. Simply place this jar in the fridge and eat first. Store in a cool dark place for up to 1 year.
So far this season we’ve shared with you our Cilantro and Lime Vinegar Free Salsa, Sugar Free Blackberries, and now our Smokehouse Garden Salsa. Both salsas are slow cooker friendly and super easy… as long as you don’t mind the time it takes to chop everything up! And, if you don’t have the patience just put all the tomatoes, onions, and peppers in a blender and you’ll be fine! Your salsa won’t be as chunky, but all the yummy flavors will still be there.
I’ve also found this salsa makes a warm and rich, almost BBQ flavored, chicken marinade! That’s only if it can surpass the chip taste test again, and again, and again…
What’s your favorite salsa recipe? In your eyes, what makes a good salsa?
Happy canning friends! You can do it!
From The Farm
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