Scotch bonnets will most certainly awaken your taste buds – and if you’re not used to heat, well then they may temporarily paralyze them. Steve and I love spicy food so we don’t shy away. These peppers are a taste of the Caribbean, being one of the unique flavours behind one of our favourite dishes – jerk chicken. There’s no doubt that this sauce will make any dish come alive.
Perhaps it was our recent adventure to Jamaica, which re-fired our love for Scotch bonnets. During our stay, we hung out with the locals, allowing us to truly experience this incredible island. The local cuisine is unreal. If you ever have the chance to explore Jamaica, do it!
So here we are, back in Canada and it was -36 degrees today. Ugh, Jaaaaamaica we miss you. This sauce may make you sweat but that’s not entirely a bad thing, especially during the winter months.
How hot is a Scotch bonnet you ask? Well, it sure is zingin’. However, there are many peppers that make a Scotch bonnet child’s play. Good thing there’s already a scale invented so that we can easily compare.
The Scoville Heat Scale measures the heat of a chilli pepper, so let’s take a peek:
- A sweet pepper is a big honkin’ ZEROOOOOO
- Those stuffed jalapeños you eat on game day are between 2,500 and 5,000 units
- A cayenne pepper creeps up to a range between 30,000 and 50,000 units
- While a Scotch bonnet is awarded between 100,000 and 325,000 units
Considering there are peppers that reach up to 16,000,000 Scoville heat units, Scotch bonnet sauce would be like ketchup. However, unless you’re a fire-breathing dragon, Scotch bonnets do have a kick. There’s no doubt that this sauce is hot, but the mango, lime, and sugar add a nice balance.
By squeezing lime into this mixture, you help neutralize some of the heat. This mango Scotch bonnet sauce is great on a bean or beef burger, along with an IPA. More specifically, Sawdust City’s Lone Pine IPA. It’s one of our favourites right now.
Although citrus juice, salt and sugar all aid in the preservation process, there are no preservatives in this sauce. You’ll want to keep it in the fridge. We’re the type of folks that will put this sauce on our eggs, chips, and burgers. If you’re not one to use hot sauce often, simply reduce the recipe increments suggested below.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely diced
- 2 carrots finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 10 scotch bonnets (stem removed)
- 1 mango
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 lime (juice and zest)
- 2 tbsp raw sugar
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- In a small sauté pan, slightly toast the allspice and cumin (you don't need to crank the heat, just heat to bring out greater flavour).
- As the spices are toasting, heat the olive oil and sauté your finely chopped onion, carrot, and minced garlic. After the spices become slightly toasted, add them to the carrot, onion, and garlic mixture.
- Once the onions are translucent and the mixture is soft, remove from heat and let cool.
- Next, add the cooled onion mixture, scotch bonnets (whole or halved is just fine), mango, vinegar, juice and zest from one lime, and sugar to a food processor. It will look fairly thick, but if it looks far too thick, simply add a touch more vinegar, STIR and re-blitz. Taste between each blitz to ensure it's balanced. Remember, if a sauce tastes too sour or acidic, hit it with a little more sweetness.
- It's okay if your mixture is still slightly chunky at this point. Add your blitzed mixture to a saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes. Once again, let the mixture cool.
- Add your simmered sauce to the food processor and let it do its thing for about 2 minutes. If the noise bothers you, stick some headphones into your ears, listen to two minutes of your favourite song and YOU'RE DONE.
- Spoon your sauce into a bottle that can be capped and store it in the fridge. You're good to go for a month.