I was getting ready to defrost my freezer the other day and while I was rooting around in the frosty depths I found two gallon bags of cherry tomatoes from last year and a few pint bags of fire roasted poblano peppers as well. I decided to make some tomato juice in my Mehu-Liisa steam juicer. Those Sun Gold cherry tomatoes are sweet as candy with a strong tomato flavor, perfect for drinking straight or mixing in Bloody Mary cocktails, or even as a base for tomato soup. Ingredients and instructions follow:
2 gallon bags of frozen cherry tomatoes, about 8 lb. (you can use any kind of fresh tomato as well)
2 large fire roasted poblano peppers
1 large onion quartered
2 large shallot cloves quartered
6 large garlic cloves cut in half
4 large stems of fresh oregano
2 large stems of fresh rosemary
4 large stems of fresh thyme
4 large stems of fresh parsley
Canning gear: have ready 6 sanitized pint jars, canning lids to match, canning funnel, ladle, pressure canner (if you plan to keep the juice on the shelf, not in the fridge).
- Start the water to boil in the covered water pan over medium high heat. All that is needed is a steady boil. A furious boil will run the risk of boiling the pan dry and damaging the juicer and the stove. Bring the canning lids and bands to a boil for five minutes then take off the heat and set aside in the hot water until needed.
2. Once the water is boiling, assemble the juicer and fill the basket by layering tomatoes, veggies, and herbs. Start and end with tomatoes. Put lid in place and set timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, check the juice and water levels. Add water if necessary (should be at least half full). Set timer for another 30 minutes.
3. After another 30 minutes, turn off burner and draw off juice into large stock pot (at least 6 quart size).
4. Remove the herbs from the spent veggies and discard. Run the spent veggies through a food mill to add pulp to the hot juice. No need to mill them down to nothing, just enough to get some nice pulp into the juice. Here is all that was left after milling:
5. Bring the juice and pulp up to a boil, turn the heat off, and ladle into sanitized jars.
6. Wipe the rims with a clean paper towel and cap using the boiled lids and bands. Process in a pressure canner following USDA guidelines if you are going to store the juice on the shelf. It will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
This is wonderfully savory, a touch spicy, and great to drink on ice or with a mixed drink Bloody Mary. I used a pint in a beef shank stew that was amazing.
I hope you get a chance to process some cherry tomatoes this season and enjoy the goodness of steam juiced veggies in the Mehu-Liisa steam juicer from Finland. Let me know if you have any questions or tips and recipes to share.