Chunky Homestyle Salsa

Salsa is a staple in our household.  We usually eat it a few times a week.  We adore fresh salsa, but sometimes we don’t always have the time to do all the chopping.  So I’ve done some experimenting and have found two delicious salsa canning recipes that hit the spot! 

The one I’m posting about today is based on a recipe I found a while ago in a Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  I’ve changed it slightly, but my family and friends seem to love my modified version.  It’s also one of my favorites.

The whole process takes me about 3 hours.  However, the first few batches I threw together took me a little longer until I found my rhythm.  Make sure you plan plenty of time for your first batch.  🙂

Start off by collecting your canning equipment.  You’ll also need the following ingredients:

8 lbs ripe tomatoes (about 15 cups after peeled, seeded, and chopped)
2 cups seeded and chopped fresh Anaheim or poblano chile peppers
– If you can’t find  decent chile peppers at the store, you can also substitute 2 cups worth of canned, roasted, green chilis.  However, keep an eye out for stems that sometimes make their way into the can.
2 large jalapeno or Serrano chile peppers
2 cups chopped red onion
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 of a 6-oz can of tomato paste (~1/3 cup)
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground black pepper
5-6 pint-sized canning jars with rings and lids

If you want your salsa to be more mild, use the Anaheim chilis and jalapeno peppers.  If you want a kick, use the poblano and Serrano chile peppers.  You can also do a combination to find out which flavor you like the best. 

UPDATED 4/19/2012

I just tried this same recipe, except with 12 cups of tomatoes and 3 cups of diced fresh pineapple (add last) and it turned out amazingly delicious!! (And soooo addictive lol)

If you LOVE pineapple as much as I do, mix it up a little and do the same.  🙂

First, I start with the tomatoes.  Peeling/seeding/chopping tomatoes is the messiest part and I like to get it out-of-the-way.  Click here for a how-to post on my method of peeling/seeding tomatoes.

As you are peel/core/seed your tomatoes, coarsely chop them and transfer them into a colander.  Once your tomatoes are all peeled, cored, seeded, chopped and resting in their colander (we want them to sit for about 30 minutes to drain), take your tomato boiling pot off the burner.  Replace it with your water-canning pot.  Because these pots are so large and take so long to heat up, I’ve found that this is the best time to get it ready.  I also put my jars and rings in.  You don’t want to boil your lids, so just set them in a small sauce pan or bowl off to the side for now.  You will want to bring the jars and rings to a boil and let them boil for 20 minutes to make sure they’re sterile.  While you’re waiting, you can get to work on the rest of the recipe.

Now you’ll want to grab your 7-8 quart pot.  I just throw things in as I go from here on out.  Now I seed and chop my peppers and/or chiles.  I use gloves when I do this, just to make sure the oils don’t burn my skin.  Next I add my chopped onions, lime juice, vinegar, tomato paste, garlic, salt, cumin, and black pepper.  I mince the cilantro and throw it in as well.  By now, your tomatoes should have had plenty of time to drain and are ready to be added to the rest of the ingredients.  You can add them sooner, but remember that we want them to rest for at least 30 minutes. 

Once you have all of your ingredients mixed together, go ahead and put it on the burner over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.  Boil for at least 10 minutes.  You can cook the salsa longer if you would like to reduce the amount of liquid or until it reaches your desired consistency. 

Once your jars and rings are sterilized and your salsa is at the desired consistency, go ahead and turn off the burner for the salsa.  When grabbing your first jar with the jar grabbers, don’t dump out all of the water.  Pour the hot water into the pan or bowl that your lids are waiting in.  Ladle hot salsa into your hot, sterilized pint-sized canning jars.  Leave 1/2-inch headspace.  Use your skewer to release any air bubbles that may have gotten trapped against the side of the jar, wipe the rim clean, then add your lid.  Put the ring on, finger tight.  Repeat.  This recipe usually makes about 5-6 pints. 

Process your jars in the boiling-water canner for 20 minutes.  Don’t start timing until the water is at a rolling boil.  Remove the jars from the canner and cool on a towel in an area free of drafts.   Any remaining salsa can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

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