Win a copy of Grocery Story this week in the City Repair forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • James Freyr
  • Greg Martin
  • Dave Burton
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Dan Boone

Lazy tomato sauce

 
pollinator
Posts: 180
Location: Washington Timber Country
27
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's the end of summer. Time to can up all the tomatoes you can get your hands on for the long winter ahead. I put this in cooking rather than food preservation because I'm going to gloss over the actual canning part - I don't want your botulism on my head. Just do it the way granny taught you and you'll be fine. My focus is the easy, low-effort way I make the sauce itself by roasting everything in the oven. No boiling over, no burning on the bottom, minimal stirring.

Preheat your oven to 350. Start by coarsely chopping about 6 lbs of tomatoes (cut out the stem ends and any ooky bits) and an onion. Put everything in a big lidded roasting pan and add a few garlic cloves, a couple tablespoons of salt, a glug of olive oil, and a glug of balsamic vinegar.



Put the lid on the roaster and bake for an hour or so. When you open it up, you'll have something like this:



Doesn't look like a lot has changed, but give it a stir and it's more like this (cameo by the spoon my sweetie made me):



Leave the lid off this time, and give it another half hour in the oven to break down and condense.



Now it's time to add a handful of fresh basil or herbs of your choice and hit the whole thing with the immersion blender. You could also blend in batches in a regular blender, or maybe do a coarse mash with a potato masher, but I like my tomato sauce pretty saucy and smooth. Give it another half hour with no lid in the oven.



Now, time to taste and check your seasoning levels. Adjust as necessary, remembering that herbs can become more pronounced in storage. Probably better to go light now and add more when you cook. It's also time to check pH because some tomatoes can teeter on the edge of safety for water bath canning, and you did add some onion and garlic and stuff. I use cheap litmus paper and just barely touch the back of the paper to a little sauce on a spoon to wet it. You don't want the color of the sauce itself confusing your reading. You want a pH around 4. If you're higher than that, add acid in the form of vinegar, lemon juice or the like a little at a time until you're where you want to be.



Give it one last half hour in the oven to condense a little more, and for the seasonings to blend in. In the mean time, get your canning kettle boiling and your jars ready. When it looks like this, take it out of the oven, give it a good stir, and can the way granny or the internet taught you.



Makes about 5 pints.



So yes, the cook time is about two and a half hours, plus canning time, but you only have to get up four times to tend to it and you don't even have to think about it between timer beeps.
 
Posts: 4
Location: Watford, UK
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Great! This truly is the easiest way to store your tomatoes. I also love to add bell peppers in the mixture, nut I'm not sure they will cook well with your method. After all, you do puree them on a later stage. Have you tried adding peppers?
 
Roberta Wilkinson
pollinator
Posts: 180
Location: Washington Timber Country
27
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My only concern with bell peppers would be one of pH. If you puree them in, you'll probably need more acid in the mix to keep the pH around 4. If you leave them in chunks, I would worry about whether the acid in the sauce was fully permeating the chunks. Probably best to go for a pressure can if there will be chunks.

*I am not a food scientist, just a home cook*
 
gardener
Posts: 697
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
154
dog duck chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts pig bike bee solar ungarbage
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A method I saw recently was to throw all your tomatoes into bags in the freezer for a few days. Take them out to thaw and most if the water drains out. Then pass through a tomato crusher to remove seeds and skins for a concentrated to pulp ready for canning.
 
master steward
Posts: 2638
Location: USDA Zone 8a
658
dog hunting food preservation cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I like to make what I call fresh tomato sauce when I make meat loaf.  I put the tomatoes, bell peppers and onion into a blender and blend them into a sauce.

I was planning to do that with my excess tomatoes yesterday.  Then I found this thread for the daily-ish and decided to try her method. Though I used the crockpot instead of the oven.  The sauce turned out great and I just finished putting the jars in my freezer instead of canning.  Like the title said lazy and also easy!
 
Posts: 5
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
love this idea. I think I will try it with my roaster oven so not to heat up my kitchen as much. Sounds tasty.
 
pollinator
Posts: 441
Location: South of Capricorn
118
rabbit food preservation homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Anne Miller wrote:I used the crockpot instead of the oven.


I do this as well, except I don`t bother with the mashing or the pH.
once it`s nice and done (usually overnight on low) I run it through the Omega juicer to take out the skins and seeds, and freeze it in pints (or alternatively, use as tomato juice, soup, red sauce, etc). When tomatoes are very cheap I do this as often as possible.
 
pollinator
Posts: 272
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
54
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My fave is to dehydrate the tomatoes.  The taste is very superior [IMHO] to canned sauce, I suspect because you don't boil the daylights [and the vitamins] out of them. It is also a great way to use less energy making it and storing it too. And if the weather cooperates, you won't even need a dehydrator.
I'm too lazy to peel them, but I cut them thin, shake the seeds out, or scoop them. {I don't like the seeds much and my chickens go bonkers for the seeds.}. When you remove the seeds, some of the juice around the seeds will go out too, which means it will take less time to dry the slices.
Dry the slices until they are snappy. Not much work there: Fill the trays, plug in and walk away. [I start them in the evening and let them dry out until morning, longer if it is humid]. At the leathery stage you will already have a great product, but it will be harder to turn into tomato power] then take small amounts at a time an pop them in the blender to powder them. This way, they won't "cake" in your blender. You will never notice the skins [which is a healthy part of the tomato too but my hubby does not like them - and I'm sneaky].
Since you are at drying, you may want to do the same thing to your basil, garlic and whatever else you normally put in your tomato sauce. Blend the whole thing together or dry all the ingredients separately. (I have not done it with mushrooms because the seasons do not coincide, but hey, why not, if you dry mushrooms? I suspect mushrooms might taste stronger in storage, so go easy on dried mushrooms or use your canned mushrooms.
Place them in airtight containers away from light. If you suspect you didn't dry them enough, you could freeze the product, but why use more energy to get your delicious tomato sauce?
To reconstitute, just add some water stir and heat up: They will taste more like fresh because technically, you only cook them a little when you reconstitute the tomato sauce. And you can make the sauce as thick as you want without the risk of scorching. You can even heat it in the microwave. You can sprinkle generously on a commercial pizza you need to "doctor up". It will give it a great kick.
If you store them in a quart jar or bigger, you can take out just what you want and reseal too, so less waste.
 
Posts: 1
Location: Minneapolis
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I maked it. It is so tasty
 
Posts: 27
Location: King William, VA
3
cooking food preservation homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:My fave is to dehydrate the tomatoes.  The taste is very superior [IMHO] to canned sauce, I suspect because you don't boil the daylights [and the vitamins] out of them. It is also a great way to use less energy making it and storing it too. And if the weather cooperates, you won't even need a dehydrator.
I'm too lazy to peel them, but I cut them thin, shake the seeds out, or scoop them. {I don't like the seeds much and my chickens go bonkers for the seeds.}. When you remove the seeds, some of the juice around the seeds will go out too, which means it will take less time to dry the slices.
Dry the slices until they are snappy. Not much work there: Fill the trays, plug in and walk away. [I start them in the evening and let them dry out until morning, longer if it is humid]. At the leathery stage you will already have a great product, but it will be harder to turn into tomato power] then take small amounts at a time an pop them in the blender to powder them. This way, they won't "cake" in your blender. You will never notice the skins [which is a healthy part of the tomato too but my hubby does not like them - and I'm sneaky].
Since you are at drying, you may want to do the same thing to your basil, garlic and whatever else you normally put in your tomato sauce. Blend the whole thing together or dry all the ingredients separately. (I have not done it with mushrooms because the seasons do not coincide, but hey, why not, if you dry mushrooms? I suspect mushrooms might taste stronger in storage, so go easy on dried mushrooms or use your canned mushrooms.
Place them in airtight containers away from light. If you suspect you didn't dry them enough, you could freeze the product, but why use more energy to get your delicious tomato sauce?
To reconstitute, just add some water stir and heat up: They will taste more like fresh because technically, you only cook them a little when you reconstitute the tomato sauce. And you can make the sauce as thick as you want without the risk of scorching. You can even heat it in the microwave. You can sprinkle generously on a commercial pizza you need to "doctor up". It will give it a great kick.
If you store them in a quart jar or bigger, you can take out just what you want and reseal too, so less waste.



Very interesting Cecile!  
 
Posts: 1830
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
121
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I make it basically the same way except I have wine, herbs, garlic and onion in with my tomatoes. The flavor is magnificent! Then I just blend them up with the skin and can it.
 
Tereza Okava
pollinator
Posts: 441
Location: South of Capricorn
118
rabbit food preservation homestead
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
today on my way from buying a couple hundred pounds of dirt (as one does) I saw a sign hanging by my favorite greengrocer advertising tomatoes for a fifth of the usual price (they buy locally and often get these crazy deals to encourage people to come in).
I bought 8 kg of tomatoes... specifically for lazy sauce and tomato juice!! I assume you folks brought me luck with this thread, because these deals are SO RARE lately. (in the store, it looked just like when you throw fish feed into a very crowded pond, with all of us tightwads snapping up many pounds of tomatoes)
 
a wee bit from the empire
Control Garden Pests without Toxic Chemicals
https://permies.com/t/96977/Natural-pest-control-garden
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!