Monthly Archives: February 2010

Green tomato sauce

So, after tomato armageddon I have a pile of green tomatoes. There may be more on the way if I’ve killed the plants as well. After 2 days 3 of the plants are nominally alive and 2 are pretty much dead. Not tooo bad. Still, more sauce will be forthcoming.

I looked around and did find you can make sauce out of green tomatoes. So here goes a try!

Here are the tomatoes that fell off (or in one case I totally killed the plant by accident). I have several types in there. Roma I suspect are the pear shaped ones, also beefsteak, moneymaker and maybe black krim. No way to know as except for 2 tomatoes they are all green.

I’m also putting brisket, garlic, onions, rosemary, fennel, parsley, basil, salt and pepper in there. Maybe some olive oil and sugar if I think it’s necessary. The recipe I found suggested ham hocks, but I could only get more ham hocks than I knew what to do with so I thought fatty brisket instead. Hey ho.

So first thing, start browning the brisket with the garlic. I probably had about 6 cloves garlic. I expect just a basic seasoning out of that. I’m not actually handling garlic and onions well whilst pregnant, so worst case I eat this and am sad. This is maybe a pound of bone in brisket? Was a bit less than half the 1 kg package.

Sear, sear. A cast iron pan would be better for that probably, but I’ve only got the one pan right now.

All the fat and everything goes in the sauce pot.

My onions were frozen. I had bought a huge bag of them and cut some up and stuck them in the freezer when they started to go bad. Then morning sickness hit with a vengeance and the rest of them rotted before I could even think about eating them. And I’m still avoiding them a bit, so freezer onions it is. I guess this is about 2 onions? They are sliced, just all clumped up.

Monster mound of tomatoes. And on top the 2 not-green ones. I did try eating a green one, and while I expected it to be similar to an unripe apple, all sour and tart and unpalatable,  it was just undeveloped tomato flavour. A bit bland actually. (I can see how green tomato pickles would be good)

Add the rosemary, salt and various other seasonings now.

Cook for hours and hours in the slow cooker.

I actually drizzled the olive oil on after about 2 hours, and added some more salt and herbs to taste at that point. I did throw a teeny bit of vinegar in there as the green tomatoes lacked acid to my taste.

Here is after 8-9 hours of simmering in the slow cooker:

I usually let regular red sauce go overnight at a lower temperature as it gets pretty watery. This stuff was pretty thick so I dished it out for freezing and trying after about 9 hours of cooking. The green tomatoes are firmer than red ones so I had the impression I was cooking up grapes. A hand blender would be… um handy for this. However, I did not feel like shuffling hot sauce from pot to food processor/blender, so chunky with nearly whole green tomato chunks it is.

I did eat some of this and it’s good, but vaguely more like heatless green salsa than tomato sauce. I think the brisket/beef fat makes it thicker. The garlic and onions did give me problems, but it was manageable. It’s missing … something. I don’t usually put meat in my sauce during the cooking phase, but I do think that helped some with the flavor. I think either some spice, or more heavy flavor herbs would do this sauce right.

I do have another batch I need to make at some point (this one made 8 x2 cup portions and some extra, call it 9.5 2 cup portions), so will try something a bit stronger then.

Tomato armageddon

So, we found a place to move (coincidentally the other half of the duplex came available and it has 2 bedrooms and is ever so slightly larger than our current place. Should be all we need for at least a year) and that means that my garden needs to move with us. Unfortunately the weather has been a bit shit, so while I have oodles of tomatoes, they are all still green.The zucchini harvest has nearly met expectations, despite blossom end rot, so there is that.

So I bought some large tubs and started the uprooting procedure. I’ve probably killed them doing this, so worst case I make a lot of green tomato sauce (which I need to make anyhow, as a bucketload fell off while I was digging up the plants).

Here is what fell off from 4 of the 6 plants. There was a bit more from the 5th plant (I filled that second bowl to overflowing) and #6 was a casualty of digging.

And you can see my unruly (I didn’t stake or prune, oops) tomatoes, 2 to a tub. I poured some liquid fertilizer and water on them after replanting. We’ll just see how they do.

So far other than that I’ve gotten one spaghetti squash (another one is growing though) and one pumpkin (also a small one in progress). They just need too much space. I think next year I’ll stick to tomatoes (that will be staked at the minimum!), green onions, parsley and some other tub friendly things. Might get some kale and broccoli in for the winter.