Louisiana Hot Sauce

Serves: 0
Course: Side Dish
Cooking Time: 1 hr 40 mins
  • The mash:
  • 1kg very ripe red serrano chillies
  • 1kg very ripe red cayenne chillies
  • 70g fine sea salt
  • 300ml sweet white wine (such as riesling, Sancerre, muscato)
  • To make the sauce:
  • 300g Monster Pepper Mash (above)
  • 8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp celery salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 200ml distilled white vinegar

As huge fans of hot sauces, we decided to make our own fermented-style sauce. In 2014, we bottled and sold so much of this stuff we couldn’t keep up with demand of our main job, which was making barbecue. But we found that having a big batch of pepper mash on the go acted like a ‘starter’ that could be topped up week on week with more salt and more peppers.

Making a fermented hot sauce is a bit of a process, so we recommend making a fairly large batch. It keeps really well and you can use the hot pepper mash as?a base for many styles of hot sauce, salsas, bastes and even curries. As we’ll ultimately be making a Louisiana-style mash, we’ll be using serrano and cayenne peppers for that classic bayou pepper flavour. You want your chillies to be very ripe for this recipe. If they’re firm and fresh, try putting them in some brown paper bags or lay them out on a baking tray and leave them somewhere warm for a day or so. The fruit should start to look a little soft and wrinkly.


When handling raw chillies, always wear gloves (disposables) otherwise you’ll regret not wearing them in so many painful ways! Slice off the green tops of the chillies and split them lengthways. Put them in a large, non-reactive bowl and cover with the salt and wine. Using a potato masher, push down on the mixture, bruising the fruit a little, then cover and leave to macerate overnight. The wine, with its high sugar content, will aid the fermentation process.


The next day, sterilise a 2-litre jar that has a tight-fitting lid. Make sure that there is enough room in the jar for the mash to rise by about double its original size during fermentation. Carefully pour the pepper mash in, using a spoon to push the mixture down well.

Seal the jar and leave for 2 weeks in a dark and cool place. You should, during this time, start to see the fermentation process happen as little bubbles form on the surface of?the mash; good bacteria going to work helping you on your way to hot sauce heaven. Once a day, use a clean spoon to push down the rising pulp and give it a stir. By the end of week 2, the rate of fermentation should have died down so the fermentation process won’t appear to be so vigorous.


You can now make your hot sauce in either of the following ways:

1. Purée in a food processor and push through a metal sieve into a clean bowl. Transfer the liquid to a sterilised glass jar.

2. Using a mouli placed over a bowl, add ladlefuls of the pepper mash, turning the handle so the juice is extracted, leaving behind the pulped chillies (which you can pass through the mouli a few times). Transfer to a sterilised glass jar.

Store the mash in your fridge, where it will keep for about 3 months. The longer your mash matures the better the flavour. You might notice some bubbling fermentation – this is perfectly normal – just give it a stir every now and then. You’re now ready to make your Louisiana Hot Sauce.

Louisiana Hot Sauce:

You’ve done all the hard work with your pepper mash. By comparison, making your hot sauce is a simple case of combining the ingredients. Blitz all the ingredients for the sauce in a blender into a purée. Pass through a fine sieve and store in sterilised bottles. We like to leave the sauce in the fridge overnight or for 24 hours before we use it. And it will keep for several months if stored in the fridge.