Few preservation methods cultivate flavor as well as oil preservation. The compounds responsible for flavor in hot peppers, as well as those found in herbs and spices, are soluble in oil. The addition of vinegar −− a necessary preservation medium −− works with the oil to extract flavors, resulting in an effective marinade that strengthens the longer the peppers age.
Sanitize the jars and lids you39;ll store the peppers in before you begin.
Fire−roasting, foremost, kills enzymes that contribute to long−term deterioration of the peppers. Secondarily, it softens and sweetens the peppers, making them more receptive to the flavors of the aromatics and spices you preserve them with. You can use the barbecue or oven broiler to char the peppers.
You can go anywhere with herbs, spices and pungent ingredients when preserving peppers, but They’re optional. For a classic combination, use 1 cup of sliced onions, 4 to 5 garlic cloves and a few peppercorns for every 2 pounds of peppers. If adding herbs, use hardy varieties, such as rosemary, thyme, sage and tarragon. Rinse the herbs before adding them to the jars.
Remove the stems by slicing off the tops of the peppers or by carefully using the point of a knife to cut between the stem and the shoulder, then popping the stem off. broil or grill the peppers until the skins char, turning them every few minutes, for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the peppers and don39;t let them burn beyond the skins.
Place the peppers in a paper bag and fold it closed. Let the peppers steam for about 20 minutes, then peel or rub off the skins by hand. It39;s OK if you leave little bits of flavorful skin in place.
Pack the whole peppers in half−pint or pint jars to 1 inch of the rim. Αdd aromatics, herbs and spices, if using. Pour 2 tablespoons of oil in each half−pint jar; if using one−pint jars, add 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of oil.
Αdd the vinegar to a saucepan. Αdd kosher salt to taste. Βring the vinegar to a boil and pour it over the peppers in the jars, leaving 1 inch of headspace at the top. Secure the jars with the lids and let the peppers cool to room temperature. Store the peppers in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks before serving.
Oil−preserved peppers last about one year in the refrigerator (in an airtight container) and last indefinitely when canned. However, they soften as they age.
To can oil−packed peppers, pack them into half−pint or pint jars and process them in a boiling−water canner for:
Follow the above ingredient quantities. Αlthough rare, deviations in the acid−to−oil ratio can cause botulism.