Jerk- Inspired Tomato & Chili Sauce

This summer I discovered a cookbook that belonged to my great grandmother and the copyright date was 1897. While some of the recipes showed their age (for example, “Chicken Jelly Sandwiches”), some had potential to be modernized. One that caught my eye was a recipe for “Chili Sauce.” Although the sauce is tomato based, the use of allspice, onion and nutmeg immediately made me think of Jamaican Jerk seasoning. So, with some modifications to the original recipe, I developed a sauce that emphasizes those Jerk elements. The spice of this sauce can be modified by adding more or less of the hot peppers, but make sure to remove the seeds to ensure the smooth texture of the sauce!

This sauce is an amazing marinade for chicken or tofu, makes a great addition to broth soup, and is an all natural alternative to processed dipping sauces like ketchup. You could also try this on a burger!

jerkchilisauceemyreganscreen copy



1 can of tomatoes, 28 oz

1-2 cayenne peppers, deseeded and chopped roughly

1/2-1 habanero or scotch bonnet pepper, deseeded and chopped roughly

1 1/4 onion, chopped roughly

2 scallions, chopped

1 tbs olive oil

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp nutmeg



  1. Chop the hot peppers roughly, making sure to wash your hands after, and sauté them briefly in a pan with 1 tbs olive oil. Cook the peppers until just soft and the skin begins to blister slightly.
  2. Add the peppers and olive oil to a 2 quart stock pot along with the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about an hour and a half or until the sauce reduces to around half it’s original amount.
  4. Once the sauce has reduced, remove the pot from the heat and allow the liquid to cool for ten minutes.
  5. Pour the sauce into a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. After use, store the remaining sauce in the freezer. Enjoy!




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