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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fresh from scratch tomato sauce

Fresh tomato sauce from scratch, is not recommended in regular cast iron.

Stainless steel is best, or you can use enameled cast iron.

If you have the time and motivation to make fresh tomato sauce, it's well worth it.

Any tomato will work, as long as they're ripe, but beefsteak tomatoes are good.

First you have to peel the fresh tomatoes.

You do this by gently cutting an X in the skin of the tomato and lowering it into boiling water for 1 minute. Then lift it out, and transfer to ice water.

The skin should peel off. If it doesn't, try another 30 seconds.

Then cut them in half and take out the seeds.

Heat olive oil in a stainless steel pot on medium heat, and add the peeled and deseeded tomatoes.

Cook down the tomatoes, stirring as needed, then reduce the heat to low and simmer.

The simmering part takes hours, so I've been known to transfer to a crock pot after a while.

You don't want to start it out on a crock pot, because it needs to start out on medium heat, and a crock pot doesn't get hot enough.

Once your tomato sauce is done, you can season it however you like into spaghetti sauce.

I use oregano, basil, onion powder, garlic powder, and sometimes anchovy paste.

Then cook down ground beef in a cast iron skillet, with onions, garlic, and mushrooms or zucchini, and then add the sauce.

I've found that "already made" tomato sauce is fine for cast iron.

But actually cooking down the tomatoes to make the sauce, I would not do in cast iron.

Homemade tomato sauce is also wonderful for tomato gravy or tomato soup.

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