For years I’ve been sporadically making hot sauce for friends and colleagues. I have some regular customers who give me valuable feedback on my efforts. They point me in the right direction if they believe there is room for improvement with the flavour or consistency of a sauce.
I love hearing this feedback. Unfortunately, I go through phases when it comes to hot sauce making. Often I will go for months without creating anything.
After arriving home from my travels, I decided I was going to have a go at creating some southern inspired sauces. The first of which, a complete experiment that’s loosely inspired by Georgia mustard, I whipped up this weekend whilst watching Forrest Gump and pining over almost unbearable humidity and the beauty of Savannah.
From my very basic research – and what I experienced while in Georgia – I found that Georgia mustard is very much vinegar based. I like to use vinegar in my sauces anyway as the vinegar acts as a preservative but this called for quantities the likes of which I had never used before. Quantities I was also unwilling to use! Sorry, Georgia, I know I’ve done you wrong on this one, but I’m being very careful not to call it Georgia mustard. In fact, I’ll retract my whole statement. This sauce is inspired by the peach state as a whole.
My original point about making sauce for others was a clumsy segue into saying that this sauce was made with one person in mind: me. I love mustard and I love chillies. I love sauces with a sweet tang to them. So with that in mind I grabbed some tinned peaches, some English mustard powder, and the hottest chillies I could find in the supermarket (scotch bonnet chillies are readily available in most supermarkets in the UK and Tesco’s sells “Komodo Dragon” chillies which measure roughly 1 million on the Scoville scale).
I always start my sauces with a holy trinity of celery, bell peppers, and onions. I then add the rest of my ingredients: garlic, chillies, peaches (and the juice from the tin which turned out to be grape), mustard powder, rice wine vinegar, salt and pepper, honey, and water. I bring this to the boil then cover it and leave it to simmer for half an hour to an hour. I blend it up with a stick blender, add a little more water to get to the consistency I require, then strain it till smooth.
Here is the glorious, golden result:
As the sauce cooks down I am constantly checking the flavour and balancing it appropriately.
Another reason for wanting to make this sauce is that I simply love hot sauce and I enjoy it with a lot of different foods. Sometimes a restaurant might not have any hot sauce. It might be that the restaurant in question just doesn’t feel their food does well with it as an accompaniment. To this I say ‘Nay! Hot sauce goes on everything!’ (or at least everything savoury).
I will be carrying this sauce around with me with immediate effect. I know I may look odd but at least my tastebuds and chilli-pangs will be satisfied.