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Canned Red Salsa

9 medium onions (about 4 pounds), white or yellow, roughly chopped
9 quarts tomatoes (about 14 pounds), red, ripe, peeled, seeded and chopped
106 ounces tomato sauce, one large, institutional sized can
2 teaspoons garlic or 6 cloves, minced
5 quarts fresh green peppers, seeded and chopped, mix of Anaheim, Bell,
New Mexico, Hungarian wax sweet banana or other mild peppers
1 pint red peppers, seeded and chopped, mix of red Bell, Anaheim or New Mex
4 tablespoons salt
3/4 cup vinegar
2 bunches fresh cilantro, chopped
1 pint hot fresh peppers red or green, seeded and chopped

Hint: wear plastic or rubber gloves when working with the peppers
or you'll get hot hands.

Chop the tomatoes into about 1/2" cubes by hand as the food processor
or salsa maker will make them too mushy. Chop the red and green
peppers and the onions in a food processor or salsa maker to the
desired size--small chunks for a smoother salsa, bigger pieces for
a chunky salsa.

You will need a very large pot, at least 20 quarts. I use my water
canner to make the salsa and then transfer the salsa after it is
cooked to two smaller pots. I found when I first began to use the
water canner that its thin bottom caused the salsa to burn on the
bottom. So I went to our local steel yard and found some 1/2"
thick plate, 10" wide. I had the guy cut it at 12" long (cost
about $15). I put this plate over the gas burner and then the
canner on top of the plate. With this plate, I've yet to get more
than a small amount of burned salsa on the bottom of the canner.

Add the onions, tomatoes and peppers to the pot and mix well. Turn
on burner and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 1 1/2

I found that my original batches of this salsa were too watery.
The problem is the liquids coming out of the tomatoes. So after
the salsa cooks for 1 1/2 hours, I scoop out about 2 quarts of
liquid and pour it through a strainer into a large glass bowl.
Return the chunks from the strainer to the salsa pot.

DO NOT discard this liquid, as it makes a wonderful drink (you
might have to dilute it 50:50 with tomato juice to reduce the heat

While the salsa is cooking, take the hotter peppers, Serrano,
Jalapeno, Jalapa, Thai, Habanero, etc. and put them into a blender
jar with a little water. Puree and set aside.

After the liquid has been removed from the big pot, add the big
can of tomato sauce and then stir.

Add the hot pureed peppers a tablespoon at a time to the salsa pot
and mix well. Taste and adjust the heat to your level by adding
more of the hot pepper puree.

Now add the chopped cilantro, garlic, vinegar and salt to the pot,
mix well and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes stirring well
every 10 minutes or so. Bring to a boil just before canning.

I find that 1 pint wide-mouth jars are best for canning this salsa.
You will need 24-28 pint jars for a batch of this salsa and if you
can the liquid you removed, you will need another 8 or so pint

Process in a water canner for at least 30 minutes. Always use new
jar lids. Be sure to allow 1/2 inch head space and follow the
canning directions for tomatoes.

Note: Measure tomato and pepper volume after chopping.


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