Stewed Tomatoes

In our house, its hard to go a couple of days without a meal that contains tomatoes.  They’re such a versatile vegetable.  Pasta sauce, chilli, stew…the list could go on and on!  Each year we try to grow enough tomatoes to can, with the hopes of having enough to last us until harvest begins next summer.  This stewed tomato recipe packs just enough sweetness and a hint of savoury flavour to be be used in just about any recipe you would need tomatoes for.

Stewed Tomatoes ~ Recipe

Ingredients:

8lbs Tomatoes
9 giant clove garlic minced
2 tbs pickling salt
1 tbs peppercorn
2 tbs sugar
Real lemon juice
2 tbs white vinegar
1 1/4 cups fresh basil leaves loosely packed (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Remove the skins from your tomatoes.  To do this, immerse them in hot water for a minute or two and the skins should slide right off.  If you prefer seedless stewed tomatoes, slice each one in half and gently scrape the seeds out with your fingers or a spoon.  Be sure to save and freeze all of your skins and seeds to make homemade tomato paste later.
  2. Mince your cloves of garlic.
  3. In a large, non metallic pot, bring the tomatoes, vinegar, salt, peppercorns and sugar to a gentle simmer.  We use a large enamel coated black turkey roasting pan.
  4. Gently simmer the tomatoes for 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Be careful not to smash them up too much or you will end up with more of a sauce than chunky stewed tomatoes.
  5. Into quart sized canning jars, place two tablespoons of lemon juice.  Make sure to use lemon juice out of a bottle that you buy at the grocery store.  The lemon juice ensures that there is enough acid in your finished product to keep it stable and safe on the shelf for long term storage.
  6. Ladle the tomato mixture into sterilized canning jars on top of the lemon juice. Evenly distribute fresh basil leaves throughout the jars (If you are using basil leaves).  Top off with any remaining liquid.  Pack jars to 1/2 inch of the top rim.
  7. Using a non metallic tool such as a chop stick, gently remove any air pockets that have formed in the jars.
  8. With a damp cloth, wipe the rim of each jar and place the sealing disc centred on the top rim of each jar.
  9. Screw band down until finger tight.  Don’t over-tighten the band.
  10. Process in a boiling water bath for 45 minutes for quart sized jars, 40 minutes for pint sized jars.  Start your timer only after the water in your canner has begun to boil.
  11. Remove jars from the water bath with an appropriate tool and gently transfer them to a safe spot on a counter or table.  Protect any surface from heat with a towel.
  12. Let jars sit for 24 hours undisturbed.
  13. Check that the jars have sealed properly.  Any that haven’t can be refrigerated and used within a couple of weeks.

Want to get started with canning and pickling your own veggies?  Check out some of the products below.  They work very well for us.

Learn everything you need to know about safe canning practises with Bernardin Home Canning

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