Thursday, August 9, 2012

Canning Seafood Cocktail Sauce

This zesty sauce is great with shrimp and other seafood, but I'm thinking there may be more uses for this yummy concoction that begins with tomatoes...

Here's what I did...

First I prepared my tomatoes... the recipe called for 13 cups of plum tomato puree

I didn't have plum tomatoes, I had globe tomatoes, so I cored and quartered about 10 pounds of tomatoes and put them in a colander, allowing them to drain for a half hour before I placed them in my large stainless steel saucepan and brought them to a boil over medium heat, then turning the heat down and simmering for 15 minutes or so, until the tomatoes were heated through and softened.

I then put the tomatoes through my food mill to puree them...

I measured out 13 cups of tomato puree, then poured half into a clean saucepan and brought it to a boil over high heat, then added the remainder of puree a cup at a time, maintaining a constant boil... I lowered the heat and gently boiled the puree, stirring occasionally, until it was reduced by half. (took about 30 minutes, give or take)

While all this reducing was going on, I grated horseradish...

This is a piece of horseradish root

I began by peeling the horseradish root with my vegetable peeler... you're supposed to also be able to scrape off the outer brown peel using the edge of a spoon... neither worked well for me, so I got out my trusty paring knife and peeled it with the knife.

On to the grating part... tried to use an old fashioned box grater... took too long... so I got out my KitchenAid mixer grater attachment and tried that route... worked a little better, but the horseradish root was still resisting me and was a little too squishy for the KitchenAid... so... I got out my blender and put the still ungrated (the in-grate!) horseradish in the blender, gave it a whirl and Tah-Dah!!!! perfectly grated horseradish!

By the time THAT ordeal was over, my eyes and nose were pouring... horseradish is smelly and brutal to the mucous membranes (in large quantities!)... so I took a break, wiped my eyes, blew my nose, washed my hands and got back to work...

I set the grated horseradish aside and went back to my now reduced tomato puree...

To the puree, I added...

The zest and juice of two lemons

And then my camera battery died so I put the batteries in the charger and completed my sauce without the aid of photography (sad face)

I also added to the puree...

3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup white vinegar
2 Tbsp. canning salt
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

I increased the heat and brought the entire mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring frequently.

I then removed it from the heat and immediately added...

3 cups of finely grated horseradish

I ladled the hot sauce into hot, sterilized half-pint jars, leaving a half inch headspace. I removed any air bubbles and adjusted the headspace by adding more sauce if needed. I wiped the jar rim with a damp cloth and tightened my hot lids on to fingertip tightness.

I processed the jars in a boiling water bath, ensuring they were completely covered with water, bringing the water to a boil and processing for 15 minutes. After processing, I removed the jars from the canner and set them on a folded dish towel on the counter to cool and to listen for the PING of each successfully sealed jar.

Next morning, when my camera batteries had recharged... I took a photo of the finished product... Seafood Cocktail Sauce!

For a printable copy of this recipe, click here.


  1. Yummy! Do you grow your own horseradish?

    1. I don't... YET! I plan to plant horseradish soon... I hear once you get it started it is almost invasive and you can't hardly kill it... my kind of plant! ~~Granny

  2. Looks great! does the sauce stay zingy or does the horseradish lose the pungency from being processed? Thanks!

    1. Well, it's only been canned a couple weeks, first time I've made it so I don't know yet. ;-) ~~Granny

  3. that sounds like some tasty bloody mary mix too!

  4. Horseradish should hold it's own in the sauce. I bottle it every year and it does fine. It is the exposure to the air that kills it's potency. That is why they always put it in narrow, small bottles.

  5. I love cocktail sauce! That sounds delish. If I'm given a lot of tomatoes this year, I might try this. Thanks.

  6. how much does this make? and what size jars?

  7. Why couldn't you add the shrimp and have it ready to eat?

    1. I suppose you could... you'd just have to pressure can it for the shrimp time instead. ~~Granny

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  9. I have already cooked down a ton of tomato puree... looking to can various things with it. How many cups should I start with for your recipe?


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