Recipes from food stylist Nicolas Ghirlando: Fish fingers to Friday nights.

Fiery homemade chilli sauce that’s full of flavour

Red hot chilli sauce that doesn't disappoint

Red hot chilli sauce that doesn’t disappoint

Chilli sauce has been a source of constant disappointment in my life. It’s either not as hot as it says it should be, or it’s hot but without much flavour.

I remember trying a chilli sauce from Singapore, brought over by an art college friend years ago. It blew my head off, but then I didn’t have much tolerance.

Now, that same sauce is easier to handle and I can really taste the flavours. I have since been searching for that balance between hot and tasty. Finally, I think I’ve found it by making it myself.

It’s not for the faint-hearted, but if you can take the heat, you’ll love this one.

Ingredients:
50 or so chillies. I used a mix of Scotch bonnet, Naga ghoshst, birdseye, cayenne, serano and jalapeño
A good handful of rock salt
A bulb of garlic, peeled
6 rosemary sprigs, stalks removed
10-15 black peppercorns
200ml cider vinegar
Unrefined golden caster sugar to taste

Method:
1. Salt the chillies in a large glass jar for about three months.
2. Shake them around once or twice a week and drain off any of the liquid that comes from the chillies.
3. At the end of the salting period, thoroughly rinse the chillies and drain them.
4. Pour in a little of the vinegar and sugar and blitz with a stick blender until smooth, but still with some texture.
5. Add more vinegar and sugar to taste until you have a fairly thick sauce.
6. Store in an airtight container or glass jar in the fridge, and it should be good for a month.

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