This recipe comes to us courtesy of my brother, who not only is an expert beer brewer, but an expert hot sauce maker as well. This hot sauce has depth, viscosity, flavor, texture and just a hint of sweetness. All of the ingredients are slow-roasted and simmered together with very little interference from anything other than a splash of apple cider vinegar. I had no idea that hot sauce could be this good. My brother has been sharing this sauce with his coworkers and never has any left over. However, he offered to share it with me after hearing me complain over beers about the spicy hot vinegar that passes for hot sauce in most restaurants, as we sat outside watching the fireflies light up the trees like Christmas lights, seeing if the shooting stars would trump them in brightness like we did when we were kids.
The main ingredient here is the intrepid habanero pepper, not to be casually reckoned with. It ranks among the top of the Scovile scale, which measures the spicy heat of peppers. The number of Scoville heat units indicates the amount of capsaicin present, a chemical compound that stimulates chemoreceptor nerve endings in the skin, especially the mucous membranes. In plain English, the habanero is among the hottest peppers in the world. They are incredibly flavorful, almost fruity, but you must handle them with gloves or the oils will burn your skin. When you rinse them, the oil is so strong you will cough. The recipe mixes habaneros with jalapenos, lime juice, an entire bulb of roasted garlic drizzled with oil, carrots, a yellow onion, a pinch of sugar, a splash of apple cider vinegar and that’s about it. I have used this on chicken, eggs, quesadillas, sandwiches and chips and it’s one of the best hot sauces I’ve tasted. It is definitely hot, but not insanely hot. Even those who don’t tolerate heat well will be able to tolerate the heat off this one.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bulb garlic
- 1/2 cup peeled, roughly chopped carrot (you’ll need 1 to 2 medium carrots)
- 1 yellow or white onion
- 12 medium (about 5 ounces) orange habanero chiles, stemmed and seeded (wear gloves)
- 2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed and seeded
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 4 limes
- 1/2 cup water
- About 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
Yields about a blender full of sauce.
Preheat oven to 350F. Wrap the garlic bulb in aluminum foil. Roast the garlic in the oven for about 20 minutes. Cool and peel.
In a small saucepan, combine the carrots, onion, habanero chiles, jalapeno chilis with the apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup water, and lime juice. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the carrots are thoroughly tender, about 10 minutes. Pour into a blender jar, add the roasted garlic, salt and sugar. Blend until smooth. Thin with a little additional water if you think your hot sauce is too thick. Taste and season with additional salt if you think necessary.
Pour into jars or bottles and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to add some dazzle to a dish.