Monday, September 13, 2010

Mexican Stewed Tomatoes


This is the recipe I’ve used for over 12 years to make Mexican Stewed Tomatoes.  It’s my ‘secret’ ingredient in Taco Soup!

Mexican Stewed Tomatoes (#2)

Yield: 7 quarts


  • 24 cups chopped tomatoes – I prefer Roma because they are meatier and have a great texture
  • 5 cups onion, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups celery, chopped
  • 2 cups green pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups red pepper, chopped – I have substituted banana or green peppers
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10 Tbls. dried parsley
  • 3 1/2 Tbls. cumin
  • 8 Tbls. chili powder
  • 3 Tbls. oregano
  • 4 Tbls. salt
  • 4 Tbls. sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar


Mix all ingredients together in a large stock pot – or divide into two large pots.  Bring to simmering and simmer for 20 minutes to blend flavors together.  During this time, prepare the pressure canner, jars, lids, screw bands, etc.  After simmering, ladle hot tomatoes into warm quart jars, leaving 1” head space.  Seal and place in pressure canner.  Process quarts for 20 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure.

029 (2)  Tomatoes, waiting to ripen or be processed

025 (2)  This is my tomato ‘set-up’.

026 (2)  Strainer on the cooktop holds washed tomatoes; boiling water in the pot … tomatoes go into the water for 10 seconds to loosen the skins.

027 (2)  Then, they are plunged into ice cold water to cool.  I peel and core the tomatoes.  Lucky laying hens get to peck at the skins and cores.

028 (2)  Cored & skinned tomatoes.  I need this 6 quart container filled with tomatoes.

030 (2)  Chopped onions, peppers, & garlic.

 031 (2)  Seasonings (some are already mixed into the vegetables.

 032 (2)  After simmering for 20 minutes.

 034 (2)  This is my mom’s All American Stainless Steel Canner – no rubber seals to worry about.  7 quarts go into the canner.  After processing, the canner cools on the stovetop.  It’s cool when I can unscrew the lid.  The jars will be removed to cool on a wood cutting board for 24 hours.  After that time, I label and store in the root cellar.     

* Now, obviously these simplified directions leave out a lot of pressure canning steps … I take for granted that if you are interested in trying this recipe, that you have pressure canned in prior years.  If this is your first go-round, I suggest either purchasing the Ball Blue Book of Pressure Canning or checking out your state’s extension website for complete directions.  Each year before my first pressure canning batch, I re-read the instructions for my canner.  Pressure canning involves attention to detail and you may want to prepare and can your first batch of produce under the supervision of an experienced canner.  However, acquiring experience in this method of canning can be a wonderful way to keep up an age-old tradition and it’s a great way to store excess garden produce.

**This recipe must be canned with a pressure canner because it includes low acid ingredients (celery, onion, peppers, seasonings).  It CANNOT be canned using a water bath process.