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Sep 10, 2008 09:53 AM

Homemade Salsa (canned)

Last night I finally put up some salsa. I've been a longtime canner of tomatoes (usually just packed, sometimes made into sauce), but I'd never done salsa before. I read lots of recipes and websites, and noticed they all called for rather large amounts of vinegar or lemon juice, to counter the low acidity of the peppers and onions. Well, I made both Salsa Verde and a regular red salsa, and both came a little disappointing. The Salsa Verde is pretty good, but a shade too sour for me (it was made with 1c of bottled lemon juice). The red salsa is just SO vinegary!

Do others who've put up salsa feel this way? Does it mellow at all? Do you have recipes that call for less of these acidic ingredients?

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  1. I don't put any additional acid in my salsa (usually). For my very basic salsa recipe, I just put canned tomatoes, drained along with roasted jalapenos and garlic salt. Sometimes I will add a touch of olive oil and vinegar, sometimes a bit of cumin or chili powder but that's about it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PumpkinHead

      And you've canned this with water bath method?? Or do you mean that you can tomatoes, and then just make the salsa later? Because your recipe looks just like my general winter salsa recipe, but I was under the impression that, when canning, additional acid was necessary to avoid the possibility of spoilage (growth of Clostridium botulinum).

    2. Admittedly, I'm not a canner, but I find that lime juice is the secret to good salsa -- NOT vinegar and definitely not lemon juice. Fresh cilantro is also a nice touch.

      1. This is a great recipe

        Keay’s 3 Beer Salsa

        Assemble the following:

        15 lbs. slightly under-ripe tomatoes (roma’s are best)
        20 assorted large hot peppers
        4 jalapenos (or more if you want it hotter)
        2 large green bell peppers
        2 or 3 large yellow onions
        13 oz. tomato paste
        3 – 12 oz. beer
        ½ c. pickling salt
        2 c. vinegar
        2 T. sugar
        4 cloves garlic, minced (optional)

        Equipment that you will need:

        12 litre soup pot
        8+ litre plastic pail or bowl
        canning jars totally about 7 litres capacity
        24+ litre canner
        food processor
        small glass bowl or saucer
        wide mouth funnel
        wooden spoon
        unsalted taco chips

        You will need about 1 hour, 3 to 12 hours ahead of time to prepare the tomatoes (phase 1). The salsa (phase 2) and canning (phase 3) take about 2 hours total. Add ½ hour for clean-up (phase 4).

        Phase 1

        You are going to skin the tomatoes by blanching. Get 2 or 3 litres of water boiling in a wide pot and fill a clean sink with 4 or 5 litres of cold water. Select about 30 barely ripe and 5 definitely under-ripe tomatoes. Drop tomatoes in boiling water for 40 to 60 seconds (NO MORE) in batches of 6 or less. Quickly fish them out and drop in the cold water. Theoretically the skins should peel off with minimal effort. Cut out big stem ends and cut into 1/8ths or whatever to make 1 to 2 inch volume pieces. Slightly larger is OK, smaller is no good. Throw pieces in plastic bowl or pail and mix in ½ cup pickling salt. You should have at least 8 litres. Cover and let sit for 3 to 12 hours. The salt will suck most of the water out of the tomatoes and if you don’t screw around and shake things up, you’ll be pouring off 2 or 3 litres of clear, salt water.

        Phase 2

        Carefully drain tomatoes. The more salt water you lose the better. Throw tomatoes, vinegar and sugar in the soup pot and start heating at medium. Place saucer or small bowl in freezer. Meanwhile, your assistant has been chopping all the hot peppers and 4 of the jalapenos in the food processor. Use everything except stems, chop very fine and throw in with the tomatoes as soon as possible. Time to crack beer #1 because now you’re pinned there gently stirring for the next hour as the salsa starts to simmer. Assistant should enjoy beverage of preference in moderation as dangerous utensils are in use. The salsa will burn if you don’t stir it. Keep it at a gentle simmer. Check the time and remember when simmering started. Do not taste. Meanwhile your assistant is manually chopping the onions and green peppers in ½ to 1 inch pieces. Remove green pepper seeds. At precisely 30 minutes past start of simmer, throw in the onions, green peppers and the tomato paste. Fill canner with hot water, jars and lids and get it boiling. At precisely 45 minutes past start of simmer, spoon 3 to 6 tablespoons of salsa into bowl from freezer and return to freezer. Avoid tasting the hot salsa. At 50 mpsos (figure it out) cleanse palate with ice cold beer #2 and ready nacho chips. At 55 mpsos remove cooled salsa from freezer. It must be at room temp or lower. Taste. If mild, quickly add 3 or 4 more jalapenos and cook for 10 more minutes. If too hot, too bad, girlie-man.

        Phase 3

        Remove salsa from heat and stir often as you deftly fill your sterilized jars to precisely ½ inch from the top for pint jars and 5/8 for litre jars. Fill large jars first. Wipe rims, install lids and screw on rings snug but not tight. Reduce water level in canner to about 2/3 and immerse jars. The tops should be at least 1 inch below water level. Process at full rolling boil 15 minutes for pint jars, 20 minutes for litre jars. Enjoy beer #3 while monitoring processing and supervising Phase 4.