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Tomato Sauce - cooking in bulk

Posted by Bee & John on January 19, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Yumm!!  Home made tomato sauce!!!

I grabbed a box of tomatoes yesterday, quite cheap!  and proceeded to make the next 12 months quota of tomato sauce.

Is it cost effective?  Well, here's the breakdown.

3/4 box of tomatoes.  $8 for the box so that's $6

1.5k of plums, off our tree so free.  I would imagine that this time of year you'd pay $4

1 litre of vinegar, $4 

2 kilos of sugar, $3

salt and spices, negligble but lets say $2

So... all up, $19... it made 24 x 250ml bottles of sauce = $0.79c a bottle for high quality tomato sauce!!  Yup, I reckon it's worth it.

Bottles? I know you will be hit with the cost of bottles, but I didn't include them as we reuse ours so it'd be like trying to include the cost of the thermomix in the sauce cost or the petrol going to GET the sauce... afterall.... I'd use the petrol getting sauce from the supermarket, and the thermomix is SO low in power!!!  I use smaller bottles because there are two of us.  If I had a family or we used a LOT of sauce... I'd get/use bigger bottles or jars

Time?  I took about 40 minutes per load which made 750ml of finished sauce.  24 bottles took me just over 5 hours.  The first 40 mintues involved me chopping and preparring the the rest of the batches then it was just a matter of going back every 40 mintues and puring one lot out and getting the next lot going.  I got to swim, shop, read, watch movies, make dinner (sadly, not in the thermomix LOL).  Although it TOOK 5 hours, I only put about 1 hour's of work in.  That's cost efective too!!

First of all some hints for cooking in bulk, ie: multiple cooking in the same bowl.  Some are essential so read them through.

  1. wash your tomatoes in water with a little vinegar.  About a cup of vinegar to half a small sink full of water.  That'll kill any germies... lets face it, sauce tomatoes are usually almost at use-by point.
  2. get rid of any mouldy tomatoes and particularly soft/squishy ones.
  3. have everything ready, particualrly the bottles/jars and lids
  4. Also have ready something to watch on tv or someting to keep you busy, this'll take the afternoon!
  5. don't forget to sterilise spatulas as well as the jars etc
  6. if (like I did) you use the oven to sterilise your jars, take them out a few minutes before your tomato sauce finishes or the jars will be so hot the sauce will start to boil and bubble over the jar.  They don't have to be as hot as the sauce, just quite warm
  7. make sure there is nothing on the base of the bowl atter you  have poured out a batch.  A sticky residue on the bottom of the bowl, left there, will confuse the sensors and the next batch won't cook properly!  This doesn't really matter for the sauce as it's runny.  But for jams etc it is ESSENTIAL!!!!!!
  8. Interestinly, you might have exactily the same amount of ingredients in the bowl, but each batch might take different times to cook!!!  Don't just pour it anyway, make sure it is ok before putting it into the bottles
  9. After one batch, rinse the Simmer Basket.  If the holes are blocked there will be a different amount of steam escaping and therefore will give you a different result for your sauce.

Now heres the MOST important hint of all!!!!!  I cook a double batch of sauce at a time
  • 800g of tomatoes, halved (romas are small)
  • 240g of plums, deseeded
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 small deseeded dried chilli
  • 100g of white wine vinegar (I use the cheaper bottle.... infact I ran out and used white vinegar for the last few batches and it was fine)
  • 200g of sugar
  • 2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 cloves, whole
  • 2 bayleaves (I have a tree, so I use fresh)
Put the tomatoes (I do NOT bother draining!!!  Cut and add!!), plums, chilli and garlic and chop of speed 6 for 6 seconds.  Add the rest
Cook on VAROMA for 35 minutes with the MC off and the simmer basket in place.
Check the sauce, if it is ok, blitz for 1 mintue on speed 9.  Keep the simmer basket in place.  Pour into prepared hot, sterilised jars or bottles.

Categories: VERY useful information, Sauces, OLD Everyday Cookbook