Bertie’s Mega-Hot Trinidad Pepper Sauce (recipe)

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Top Trini Condiments

Bertie's Mega-Hot Trinidad Pepper Sauce

So you want to know how to make Trini pepper sauce? Trinidad Pepper Sauce is no joke peoples. This is liquid fire, forged from the flesh of the hottest scotch bonnet peppers, garlic, onions and other assorted ingredients simmered to perfection.

This recipe is for my father’s pepper sauce, something he’s been making for… well let’s just say since before I was born :lol:

Mustard and vinegar give it a lovely sweet n sour tang, while ginger and garlic create a savoury aftertaste that will have you wishing you had sprinkled ‘just a little bit more’ on :) Some people add papaya and other assorted fruits for added sweetness, my father never has, still both options are equally valid.

This recipe yields around 1 Gallon of Pepper Sauce so feel free to scale down to suit your needs. Leave a little to give to a friend tho, they’ll love you for it :D

Scotch Bonnet Pepper

The main ingredient in Trinidadian Pepper Sauce is the infamous scotch bonnet pepper. This festive looking pepper comes in red, yellow, orange, and green and is well known for its heat. However, it also has a very floral quality and citric sweetness that many come to appreciate (after asking for more water the first few times that is :lol: )

From Wikipedia:

The Scotch Bonnet (Capsicum chinense Jacq.) is a variety of chili pepper similar to and of the same species as the habanero. A cultivar of the habanero, it is one of the hottest peppers in the world. Found mainly in the Caribbean islands, it is named for its resemblance to a Scotsman’s bonnet. Most Scotch Bonnets have a heat rating of 150,000–325,000 Scoville Units.

These peppers are used to flavour many different dishes and cuisines worldwide. Scotch Bonnet has a flavour distinct from its Habanero cousin. This gives Jerk dishes (pork/chicken) and other Caribbean dishes their unique flavour. Scotch Bonnets are especially used in Caymanian and Jamaican cooking, though they often show up in other Caribbean recipes

This post was originally published on June 21, 2007. It has been updated once since then.

Bertie’s Mega-Hot Trinidad Pepper Sauce

Recipe By: TriniGourmet.com
Yield: 1 Gallon

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 lbs Scotch Bonnet peppers
1/2 lb ginger, peeled
1/4 lb garlic
1 lb onions
2 litres vinegar (my father uses plain white vinegar however for an unexpected twist milder flavoured vinegar variants like white wine or champagne work very well, though less economical. You can scale the recipe down to accomodate, if anything)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 – 3 tbsp salt (to taste)
2 cups table mustard (not powdered)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Chop ginger, garlic, and onion.

2. Halve the Scotch bonnets (you may want to wear gloves for this)

3. Pour 1 cup vinegar into the blender
4. Add ginger, garlic, onion, and peppers in small batches
5. Blend until mixture becomes almost ‘too thick’ to blend further
6. Add 3 tbsp mustard and 1 cup vinegar
7. Repeat. Adding garlic, onions, peppers, mustards and vinegar in sequence until blender fills

8. Pour puree into a Dutch oven and continue the blending process until all the ginger, garlic, onion, and peppers are used up.
9. Add vegetable oil and salt to the pureed mixture
10. Bring to a boil over high heat
11. Immediately reduce heat and simmer uncovered (stirring occasionally) for 10 minutes

Bertie's Mega Hot Trinidad Pepper Sauce

12. Remove from heat and bottle

This recipe is an exclusive TriniGourmet original. Please do not share it or post it to your site without crediting TriniGourmet.com. A link back to our site is not necessary but always appreciated :)

This post was originally published June 23, 2007. It has been updated 3 times since then.

Like That Heat? You’re Gonna LOVE It On These!

Chicken Cacciatore
Bertie’s Trinidad Pelau
Trinidad Macaroni Pie
Trinidad Chicken Chow Mein
Festive Chicken Fried Rice

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Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes"

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  • munch

    Wow that was a great recipe, i like the size of dem peppers. This recipe is similar to my recipe check it out
    How to make pepper sauce

  • munch

    Wow that was a great recipe, i like the size of dem peppers. This recipe is similar to my recipe check it out
    How to make pepper sauce

  • munch

    Wow that was a great recipe, i like the size of dem peppers. This recipe is similar to my recipe check it out
    How to make pepper sauce

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Valerie – so glad it met your son’s heat factor! :lol:

    Munch- Thanks! will check out yours ;)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Valerie – so glad it met your son’s heat factor! :lol:

    Munch- Thanks! will check out yours ;)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Valerie – so glad it met your son’s heat factor! :lol:

    Munch- Thanks! will check out yours ;)

  • Bill

    Have you ever used peppers that you had previously frozen? I have a bunch of peppers from last season that I steamed, ice bathed, and then shrink wrapped & froze. Looking for a good use for them. Plus, 2 1/2 pounds is a lot of peppers to gather when you only have one plant!
    Thanks!

    • http://www.LegionaireNow.com Sarina

      Hi Bill, after rereading my father's recipe for Trinidad Pepper Sauce I see no reasons why steamed and frozen peppers can not be used. If it was a recipe where the peppers needed to retain their form it may have been a problem but as they are pureed I say go right ahead! The only diffference I think you will experience is a reduction in the heat profile. Let me know how it turns out. Best Wishes! :)

  • Bill

    Have you ever used peppers that you had previously frozen? I have a bunch of peppers from last season that I steamed, ice bathed, and then shrink wrapped & froze. Looking for a good use for them. Plus, 2 1/2 pounds is a lot of peppers to gather when you only have one plant!
    Thanks!

    • http://www.LegionaireNow.com Sarina

      Hi Bill, after rereading my father's recipe for Trinidad Pepper Sauce I see no reasons why steamed and frozen peppers can not be used. If it was a recipe where the peppers needed to retain their form it may have been a problem but as they are pureed I say go right ahead! The only diffference I think you will experience is a reduction in the heat profile. Let me know how it turns out. Best Wishes! :)

  • Louise Gadoury

    Okay so I made this sauce in January and gave it away in little bottles as gifts — people LOVED this sauce. I made a few different kinds, but this was by far the most popular. It was a bit too hot for me in the beginning, but tasted so good that I started slow and now I put it on everything! Sarina — thank you! I'm making a double gallon batch next week to give away at my birthday party. This sauce has now become a tradition in my circles…. thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  • Louise Gadoury

    Okay so I made this sauce in January and gave it away in little bottles as gifts — people LOVED this sauce. I made a few different kinds, but this was by far the most popular. It was a bit too hot for me in the beginning, but tasted so good that I started slow and now I put it on everything! Sarina — thank you! I'm making a double gallon batch next week to give away at my birthday party. This sauce has now become a tradition in my circles…. thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  • peppersauceNumber5

    The longer the pepper sace takes to ferment the better or longer it lasts.. common chemistry lol the other stuff e.g the sugars and the ethanols which get oxodized to ethanoic acid eventually especially in the presence of vinegar aka acetic acid in trini…lol…… it also dependson what 'vintage taste/aroma/flavour u looking for… e.g. i have a bottle of pepper sauce i keep refrigerated as a master stock just pure pepper salt and vinegar…and when ready just add a lil extra vinegar and keep outside in a serving bottle which usually empties ina month during this time, complex redox reactions change the composition and flavour of it…. there are some pepper sauces i know outside in jus vinegar for more than a year… the other flavou

  • peppersauceNumber5

    The longer the pepper sace takes to ferment the better or longer it lasts.. common chemistry lol the other stuff e.g the sugars and the ethanols which get oxodized to ethanoic acid eventually especially in the presence of vinegar aka acetic acid in trini…lol…… it also dependson what 'vintage taste/aroma/flavour u looking for… e.g. i have a bottle of pepper sauce i keep refrigerated as a master stock just pure pepper salt and vinegar…and when ready just add a lil extra vinegar and keep outside in a serving bottle which usually empties ina month during this time, complex redox reactions change the composition and flavour of it…. there are some pepper sauces i know outside in jus vinegar for more than a year… the other flavou

  • peppersauceNumber5

    rings are nice but onions tend to encourage suplhurous bacterial growth hence old ppl say it causes spolilage of the pepper sauce as well as the added sugar encourages their growth….

    btw heat is good for bringing out the flavours and also killling bacteria off too

    lol try a roast pepper as compared to regular pepper

    or for those who can get it… a simple jalapeno….. try half raw and then roast the other half of the same pepper till it softens and see how hot it gets

    this is why ppl 'sun out' their sauces cos sunlight inhibits bacterial growth and heat changes the food too

    tabasco sauce is fermented in oak they claim cos most metals cause redox reactions with the acidic pepper sauce acid + base(metal) = metal salt + water
    eg Hydrochloric acid + sodium = sodium chloride aka table salt

  • peppersauceNumber5

    rings are nice but onions tend to encourage suplhurous bacterial growth hence old ppl say it causes spolilage of the pepper sauce as well as the added sugar encourages their growth….

    btw heat is good for bringing out the flavours and also killling bacteria off too

    lol try a roast pepper as compared to regular pepper

    or for those who can get it… a simple jalapeno….. try half raw and then roast the other half of the same pepper till it softens and see how hot it gets

    this is why ppl 'sun out' their sauces cos sunlight inhibits bacterial growth and heat changes the food too

    tabasco sauce is fermented in oak they claim cos most metals cause redox reactions with the acidic pepper sauce acid + base(metal) = metal salt + water
    eg Hydrochloric acid + sodium = sodium chloride aka table salt

  • Linbx

    Several years ago we enjoyed the scotch bonnet pepper sauces when in Jamaica; brought several home to enjoy. Last week we were visiting in Red Rocks, Colorado and tried their garlic and scotch bonnet hot sauce, omg!! Brought some home where we were actually growing plants for the first time. I can't waitto try your pepper sauce reciepe.

    Would you please send a jerk chicken or pork recipe to go along with the sauce??

    Many thanks for sharing!

  • Ask4bonnie

    I made some of the sauce about a year ago, canned it, gave away a ton, and still have some! most folks really like it! A great find!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina – Trinigourmet

      Glad to hear Bonnie :) it always gives my dad a thrill to hear that people are enjoying his recipe!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina – Trinigourmet

    Glad to hear Bonnie :) it always gives my dad a thrill to hear that people are enjoying his recipe!