Chili Sauce

A sweet and spicy blend of tomatoes, peppers and spices. A wonderful addition to grilled meats, or traditional tortière.


  • 12 cups (3000 ml) prepared tomatoes, about 6 lb (2.7 kg), 24 medium
  • 2 cups (500 ml) chopped onion, about 3 small
  • 2 cups (500 ml) chopped green pepper, about 2 small
  • 1 cup (250 ml) chopped red pepper, about 1 small
  • 2 tbsp (25 ml) chopped jalapeño pepper
  • 1- 1/2 cup (375 ml) white vinegar
  • 1- 1/2 cup (375 ml) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • 4 inch (10 cm) cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) mustard seed
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) Each: whole cloves, whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp (2 ml) Each: ground ginger, ground nutmeg


  • Place 7 clean 250 ml mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner. Cover jars with water and heat to a simmer (180°F/82°C). Set screw bands aside. Keep jars hot until ready to use.
  • Preheating Bernardin® lids is not advised. The sealing compound used for our home canning lids performs better at room temperature than it does pre-heated in simmering water (180°F). Simply wash lids in hot, soapy water, dry, and set aside until needed. Preheating can lead to less vacuum being achieved during water bath canning, and to buckle failures during pressure canning.
  • Peel, core and chop tomatoes; place in colander. Let stand 15 minutes; discard drained liquid. Measure 12 cups (3000 ml).
  • Combine tomatoes, onions, green pepper, red pepper, jalapeño pepper, vinegar, sugar and salt in a large stainless steel saucepan.
  • Place cinnamon stick, bay leaf, mustard seed, celery seed, whole cloves and peppercorns in a square of cheesecloth, tie to create a spice bag. Add to tomato mixture.
  • Bring chili sauce to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil gently; uncovered, stirring occasionally, until volume is reduced by half, about 2 hours. Stir in garlic, ginger and nutmeg in the last 15 minutes of cooking time.
  • Ladle sauce into a hot jar to within 1/2 inch (1 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more chili. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Return filled jar to rack in canner. Repeat for remaining chili.
  • When canner is filled, ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. At altitudes up to 1000 ft (305 m), process –boil filled jars – 15 minutes.*
  • When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
  • After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.