Shopping list: about 14 pounds of tomatoes, about 3 pounds of peppers, about 4 pounds of onions, 2 bunches of cilantro.
Hint: wear plastic or rubber gloves when working with the peppers or you'll get hot hands.
Chop the tomatoes into about 1/2" cubes by hand as the food processor or salsa maker will make them too mushy. Chop the red and green peppers and the onions in a food processor or salsa maker to the desired size--small chunks for a smoother salsa, bigger pieces for a chunky salsa.
You will need a very large pot, at least 20 quarts. I use my water canner to make the salsa and then transfer the salsa after it is cooked to two smaller pots. I found when I first began to use the water canner that its thin bottom caused the salsa to burn on the bottom. So I went to our local steel yard and found some 1/2" thick plate, 10" wide. I had the guy cut it at 12" long (cost about $15). I put this plate over the gas burner and then the canner on top of the plate. With this plate, I've yet to get more than a small amount of burned salsa on the bottom of the canner.
Add the onions, tomatoes and peppers to the pot and mix well. Turn on burner and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
I found that my original batches of this salsa were too watery. The problem is the liquids coming out of the tomatoes. So after the salsa cooks for 1 1/2 hours, I scoop out about 2 quarts of liquid and pour it through a strainer into a large glass bowl. Return the chunks from the strainer to the salsa pot.
DO NOT discard this liquid, as it makes a wonderful drink (you might have to dilute it 50:50 with tomato juice to reduce the heat level).
While the salsa is cooking, take the hotter peppers, Serrano, Jalapeno, Jalapa, Thai, Habanero, etc. and put them into a blender jar with a little water. Puree and set aside.
After the liquid has been removed from the big pot, add the big can of tomato sauce and then stir.
Add the hot pureed peppers a tablespoon at a time to the salsa pot and mix well. Taste and adjust the heat to your level by adding more of the hot pepper puree.
Now add the chopped cilantro, garlic, vinegar and salt to the pot, mix well and bring to a boil. Simmer for 30 minutes stirring well every 10 minutes or so. Bring to a boil just before canning.
I find that 1 pint wide-mouth jars are best for canning this salsa. You will need 24-28 pint jars for a batch of this salsa and if you can the liquid you removed, you will need another 8 or so pint jars.
Process in a water canner for at least 30 minutes. Always use new jar lids. Be sure to allow 1/2 inch head space and follow the canning directions for tomatoes.
This recipe makes really great canned salsa, much better than any commercial product.
Measure tomato and pepper volume after chopping.
I tired making this salsa with homemade tomato sauce from fresh tomatoes. The salsa had a 'too tomatoy' taste. The commercial tomato sauce made a better sa