About the Post

Author Information

Obsessed with bowhunting whitetails and running trail cams! Love fishing, 3D Archery, camping, and teaching hunter education. Been a member of the Mossy Oak ProStaff since 2008 and is excited to become a part of the team here at Victory Outdoors.

Hellish Relish: How I Make It

20150920_171211This is one of my favorite times of the year. Fall has arrived, hunting seasons are opening, and crisp mornings get your heart pumping thinking of the upcoming rut. Since I don’t generally have any trips planned, I need to keep myself occupied so I don’t go completely crazy waiting for the archery opener. One of the things I do to temporarily keep my mind off antlers is preserve the bounty from the summer gardens. We make quite a few different items, such as salsa, pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, various pickles, and sauerkraut. The last couple years I have started growing hot peppers, and this year I started some super hot pepper seeds so I would have the five hottest peppers in the world growing in my garden. Now that the summer has ended, I’m realizing I may have overdone it, and I’m picking hundreds of peppers each week. With that much produce, you need to come up with ways to preserve the harvest while making sure it will be usable and not wasted.

20150826_211056I make various hot sauces and hot mustard, and I dry quite a few peppers to crush and use throughout the year, but my favorite way to achieve this is to can what I like to call Hellish Relish. This consists of onions and various peppers, and is a great way to use excess peppers. I have a basic recipe that I follow, but the varieties and quantities of peppers are rarely the same twice in a row. A word of caution when changing the recipe. You need to be very careful to keep your ph level below 4.6, as botulism is no joke. These vegetables are low acid food, so you will need to add acidic ingredients to kill bacteria. These include vinegar and lemon or lime juice, as well as commercially available citric acid supplements. If you aren’t sure what you are doing, it is best to follow a known and tested recipe to avoid serious health issues. I will include the basic recipe here.



6 bell peppers

4 onions

10-20 hot peppers (This number is subject to shu rating of peppers. Usually I will have several habanero peppers as my basic hot peppers, with ghost peppers, Trinidad scorpion, and Carolina reapers as supplemental heat.)

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 tsp kosher salt

1 ½ cup sugar

1 cup cider vinegar

1 cup white vinegar

1 tbsp lime juice

2 tsp corn starch

20150920_184845Wash all the peppers, then cut them into pieces that will easily run through a food processor. I remove seeds and membranes from bell peppers but I leave all other varieties intact minus the stem. Most times I make this I don’t have enough bell peppers available, so I will substitute other peppers such as Hungarian wax, Santa Fe Grande, cayenne, garden salsa, and even jalapeno.  You can remove seeds from the hot peppers if you want to keep the heat to a more manageable level. Note, you may want to wear gloves when handling these peppers. They can leave oils on your skin that will burn whatever you touch. Also, when running hot peppers through a food processor you will produce mace-like fumes.

20150920_191724Make sure you are in a ventilated area. Quarter onions and run them and garlic through the food processor. Add all processed vegetables to a large stock pot. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring frequently. This process will also put some pretty intense fumes in the air. It is not uncommon to have slight trouble breathing and you will most likely find yourself coughing a time or two. I will occasionally add food coloring to these batches at the end of simmering if there isn’t much color left or to help distinguish between batches easily. At this point, you can either refrigerate, where your relish will keep for several months, or you can preserve by canning. I always can mine. 20150920_204206I have found half pint jars to be my favorite option, as some of these batches are extremely hot and they go a long way. I use the boiling water bath method with a minimum processing time of 15 minutes. This can be used to spice up nearly anything, but my favorites are eggs, Mexican dishes or Chinese dishes. I also use it on hamburgers and brats.

Tags: , , ,

Comments are closed.