I’ve learned a few things since being married to a southern (born and raised) boy for the last 20 years. If you can shoot it, you can eat it. If you can grow it, you can eat it. If it’s good, it’s even better fried. If you can cook it, cook it even longer..for example turnip greens!
Marrying a Southerner has been a culinary adventure. Since marrying into my husband’s family I have experienced more unique foods than I ever had in all the years before we met. Okra, Rutabaga, Turnip Greens, Black Eyed Peas, Chow-Chow, Squash Pickles…and many more! I also learned that southerners are rarely happy to let a side dish stand as it is, they love to cover it, smother it and add goodies like bacon drippings (I know yum!) and the ever popular hot pepper vinegar. They love to douse their greens, their peas and their fried okra in this simple yet delicious seasoned vinegar that adds just the right kick to their favorite dishes.
I will never forget the first time I had turnip greens with pepper vinegar. One would think you could not improve on turnip greens cooked low and slow in rendered bacon but adding pepper vinegar takes even the best cooked veggies up a notch. I was hooked!
I knew I had to learn to make my own pepper vinegar…paying homage to the memory of every good “southern” cook, and I found the perfect way to store it. Darling bottles from the Dollar Tree and Home Goods.
I couldn’t wait to start making pepper vinegar, and now I’m going to share this great little sauce with you…so you can too can learn how to be a true Southerner too!
Homemade Southern Pepper Vinegar-Heather from At The Picket Fence
servings vary depending on amount of peppers and size of jars
Variety of hot peppers, cayenne, chili, etc
Tsp. of course salt per 3 cups of vinegar
Glass jars with plastic stoppers (they can have metal spouts but the parts that have constant contact with the vinegar need to be non-metallic)Chopstick or other type of long thin stick that will fit into neck of jar
Wash containers thoroughly removing all soap residue. Boil water and pour into each jar, allow to cool slightly and than discard water. This will sterilize containers. Allow containers to air dry. Gently wash peppers and air dry. Depending on the desired heat you can poke small holes in some of the peppers, this allows the juice of the peppers to more thoroughly incorporate with the vinegar. (We suggest wearing gloves while handling the peppers, especially if you are going to cut into them at all) If you are desiring less heat in your vinegar sauce, than leave peppers intact.
Using a chopstick, gently push each pepper into the container, making sure each pepper will fit through the neck of the container and layering them in a pretty pattern.
Be sure to fill your container with plenty of peppers but not where any stems are coming up into the neck of the container. Place vinegar and salt into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes to sterilize the vinegar. Allow to cool slightly. Pour vinegar into a measuring cup with a lip. Placing a funnel into the container, gently pour the vinegar over the peppers.
Fill containers to the bottom of the neck, being careful not to overfill. Allow vinegar to cool. If vinegar level seems to have decreased you may need to add more vinegar, as the peppers will absorb some. After containers have cooled completely, place tops on containers and store in a cool dry place for at least a week for best flavor. Vinegar will continue to age and the flavor will intensify over time. When vinegar is used up, you can replace with more sterilized vinegar reusing the peppers. Now all you have to do is enjoy your homemade pepper vinegar on anything and everything!
Feeling a little bit more Southern now? Well, I guarantee you’ll fit right in after you start putting this homemade pepper vinegar on anything and everything you eat! Enjoy!
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Susan (My Place to Yours) says
Yes ma’am! (Originally from Texas, we just call it Pepper Sauce.) 🙂
That was too funny, Heather! Loved your descriptions and the way that Southerners do things. 🙂 I love your pepper vinegar! And, thanks for the fabulous directions, too … just might have to try!
Yvonne @ StoneGable says
Where have I been? I missed this great culinary enhancement! I love the description of Southern way of life. Just adorable!
I hope you share this at TUTORIALS TIPS AND TIDBITS, going on now!
Wonderful post and amazing pictures!
Eclectically Vintage says
Stop the madness! I’m reading this at 8:30 pm and my mouth is watering! You know I’ll be raiding the fridge any minute now!
I’m heading to NC this weekend and I can’t wait for some southern BBQ! Hopefully, I’ll find some pepper vinegar in my travels!
Pinning so I can whip this up when I return – my girls and hubs love a little hotness!!
Wow, I’m so glad I saw this! Chilli peppers! I linked in spicy mince lettuce cups to Live.Laugh. Rowe’s linky party. Have a great week.
So beautiful and it was my mouth a waterin’.
Absolutely! I feel there’s an imaginary hat on my head 😀
Heather, I’m from east India where we eat food in very little oil, very little chili and are mostly subtle tastes. But I am getting married to a westy, where they like coconut paste in every thing. Honestly, the first time I tried their kinda fish, I was hooked. Makes me want to share too.
P.S: You can also make a delicious onion crunch- soak onions in white vinegar and add julienned green pepper (again, east indian). Loved your post.
At The Picket Fence says
oooh…would you ever share that recipe? It sounds delicious! Love hear about food from different cultures and parts of the world. I love anything coconut, the coconut paste sound amazing.
Courtney ~ French Country Cottage says
Amazing Heather! I bet it tastes delicious and looks so charming too!!
Chic Decorated Cookies, Bouquets and Confection says
I think my daughter will simply go NUTS over this. Thank you. Always love ready your posts!!!! ~ Lisa with Chic Decorated Cookies, Bouquets and Confection
At The Picket Fence says
It’s really easy to make. I bet you are used to having it available. Bama Boy’s family loves it on everything!
Janette - The2Seasons says
I live in Kentucky, and this is the first time I have heard about this. I must be missing out.
At The Picket Fence says
Hi Janette! It’s a lot like the pepper vinegar you can get a Cracker Barrel to put on your greens or okra. I first learned about it when I was in the deep South, but we put it on everything now. It really adds a lot! 🙂
Maury Kilgo says
MMM… pepper vinegar. My grandfather made pepper vinegar barbeque and there’s really nothing better in the world.
Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made says
I’ve never heard of this — I’m guessing it’s got quite a ‘kick’ to it so I’ll have to google and see what kinds of things you put this on! Sounds yummy though – thanks for sharing it (and so pretty too!)
I can’t really absorb this post because I can’t get past YOUR FABULOUS PHOTOS! Seriously, they are not just good they are GREAT! Great recipe but AWESOME MAGAZINE QUALITY PHOTOS! Now, I am going to go back and enjoy getting your recipe for pepper vinegar….or I am going to drool over your photos again. : ) Love, Me http://www.youaretalkingtoomuch.com
so special and beautiful come see what we shared at https://shopannies.blogspot.com
Mmmmm… I’m an Alabama native stuck in Pennsylvania thru the winter. I was shocked when I couldn’t buy any here. We put this on EVERYTHING. Thanks for the recipe.. off to make my own for the 1st time 🙂
I’m ecstatic to find this tut! I thought I wasn’t going to be able to eat any more greens because pepper sauce is getting very difficult to find in my local grocery stores and I live in Texas! It’s a genuine crime, I tell you! I knew it had to be simple but this seems idiot proof. Not only that, but your bottles of the finished product are so colorful, I think I’ll make some as gifts for my very special friends. Thanks a million. Now y’all have a good day now, ya’hear.