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Hartsyard hot sauce

"'That's all it is?' asked Naomi, when she read the ingredients list for this sauce. 'With all the compliments it gets, I half-expected it to contain essence of unicorn'," writes Llewellyn. "Without trying to sound like wankers, this is the item on the Hartsyard menu that receives the most praise." Begin this recipe two days ahead. This recipe makes 1.2 litres of sauce; unless you're having a party, we recommend you halve or quarter it.

You'll need

200 gm long red fresno chillies or long red chillies (see note) 200 gm onions, halved 1 litre (4 cups) white vinegar 100 gm sea salt 100 gm garlic cloves (about 20) 250 gm oak food-grade woodchips (never use chunks or pellets) 100 gm unsalted butter


  • 01
  • On a barbecue with a lid, place half the chillies and half the onions, leaving enough space to house a black cast-iron pan. Place a cast-iron pan on the stovetop until ridiculously hot (around 5 minutes on full heat).
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, in a 3-litre stockpot, combine the remaining chillies and onions, vinegar, salt and garlic. Bring to a slow simmer, never allowing the mixture to boil.
  • 03
  • When the cast-iron pan is at smelting temperature, cover the bottom with at least 1cm of oak chips and leave until the chips start to smoulder and smoke (almost instantaneous) – they should never ignite. Move the pan to the barbecue very carefully, then close the barbecue lid and leave to smoke. If the chips are still smoking after a minimum of 20 minutes, let them go until finished; if they’re done, place the smoked vegetables in the stockpot (which by now should have been bubbling away for 30 minutes). Simmer for a further 30 minutes, ensuring the mixture never boils. After 1 hour of total cooking, remove the stockpot from the heat. Stir in butter, then wrap the top of the hot stockpot with plastic wrap to form a seal. Leave at room temperature for 48 hours.
  • 04
  • After 2 days, blend chilli mixture until smooth enough to strain through a colander. This removes large chunks, leaving a fine pulp. Transfer to sterile bottles or airtight containers and refrigerate; the sauce will easily keep for a week or two.

Note This recipe makes about Makes about 1.2 litres. Hartsyard uses fresno chillies, which are similar to jalapeños; due to limited availability we used long red chillies instead. This recipe is from Fried Chicken & Friends ($49.99, hbk) by Gregory Llewellyn and Naomi Hart, published by Murdoch Books and has been reproduced with minor GT style changes.

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Aug 2015

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