By now it should be no secret that we love spicy food: we cook spicy, we ask for extra heat when we order Indian and Thai and Caribbean food, and we love bringing back hot sauces from different countries we visit. Cyril also happens to work with people who love spice too, and they recently challenged each other to come up with the best and hottest hot sauce. This recipe was Cyril’s contribution, and now it’s our go-to home version. If you’re into spicy things, like us, you might want to try this.
Start by dicing up your onion and cooking it over medium heat in a large cast iron pan with a little bit of vegetable oil. When the onion just begins to brown, dice up your bell pepper and add that in, along with a generous sprinkling of salt.
Thinly slice 4 garlic cloves and place those in the pan as well, and cook until the pepper and garlic are both softened. Stir this mixture frequently to make sure the onion doesn’t burn.
Meanwhile, take your Scotch bonnet peppers …
… cut them in half, then slice them into strips …
… and put those in the pan as well.
Cook everything together until all the veggies are soft and tender, but stir your mixture every so often to make sure nothing blackens or burns. As the vegetables’ liquids start to evaporate, add in water by the tablespoon to make sure everything maintains a stew-like texture.
Then take the pan off the stove and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Place your sauce mix into a blender along with 3 tablespoons of vinegar and 3 tablespoons of mustard (or you can adjust these two ingredients to your taste) and puree everything together until you have a sauce that’s mostly smooth but still has some small flecks of pepper in it. Let the sauce sit until it’s fully cooled, then pour it into a Mason jar or bottle.
And now you have some homemade hot sauce!
No doubt about it – this sauce is hot, because Scotch bonnets are what give Caribbean and some Central American food its signature heat. However, you don’t want just overpowering spiciness, so adding in the sweet bell pepper, the garlic and onion, plus the tangy mustard and the acid of the vinegar brings in extra flavors to balance the peppers out. So while this sauce is definitely spicy, it’s also got some complexity to it. Now you can proudly say you’ve made your own hot sauce, and let others dare to see if they can handle it.