Homemade Sweet and Spicy Tomato Relish


Sweet and spicy tomato relish

This is an old family recipe from my husband’s side of the family.  This tomato relish is sweet, tangy and a little bit spicy.  We love putting it on meatloaf so much that we can’t eat meatloaf without it…it’s that good!

Good thing it’s easy to make and only uses 4 ingredients.  It does take a fair amount of time to prepare but it’s totally worth it.

Ingredients: tomatoes (either 16 pounds of fresh or 2 large #10 cans of whole peeled variety), 2 cups plain white vinegar, 3 cups sugar, and 6-8 jalapenos.

Note: You can use fresh tomatoes (about 16 pounds) or you can use whole peeled tomatoes in the large #10 cans (you’ll need 2 large cans).  If using canned tomatoes, drain and reserve the juice for another use.  If using fresh tomatoes, you’ll need to blanch them, remove the peel, cut them in half and put them in a large pot.

Method: Roughly crush the tomatoes and add 2 cups of vinegar, 3 cups of sugar and 3-4 sliced fresh jalapenos to start with.  Cook this mixture down over low-medium heat and stir often to prevent burning until most of the liquid has evaporated and you have a thick chunky jam like consistency.  Taste your mixture often and adjust it to your taste.  Our measurements are never exact since a lot of the taste depends on the tomatoes you’re using and their acidity.  The number of jalapenos you use will also depend on how hot your peppers are and how hot you want your jam.  When you taste it you want it to be sweet and tangy and then there will be a lingering heat.  It took us about 6 hours to cook this mixture down to the jammy consistency you see in the photo above.  You can use a crock pot and let this cook on low while you go about your business.  Just remember to stir and taste it and adjust it to your taste.

cooking tomato relish

We ended up using 8 jalapeno peppers for this large batch of relish and I was able to can 7 pints this time around and we had about 1/2 cup of relish left that we’ll use as extra topping on meatloaf. To can, follow basic water bath canning methods and process pint jars for 20 minutes and they’ll be shelf stable for at least a year.

Meatloaf with tomato relish

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