Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. While you wait for the water, use a sharp knife to cut an "X" into the bottoms of the tomatoes. When the water is boiling, drop in the tomatoes (in batches if necessary) and leave them in for one minute. Remove the tomatoes from the water with a slotted spoon to a colander set in the sink. When all the tomatoes have been scalded, discard the boiling water and hold the pot aside.
When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel the skins back from the "X" and remove them. Slice the tomatoes into chunks that are about 1-½ inches in size (be sure to cut out the tough core where the stem was) and place the tomato chunks into the pot.
Cut the veggies
Remove the stems, seeds and membranes from the bell peppers. Dice the peppers and add them to the pot. Peel and discard the papery skins from the onions. Dice the onions and add them to the pot as well.
Slice open the jalapeño. Remove the seeds and membranes. Dice the pepper and add it to the pot.
Simmer the sauce
Add in the rest of the ingredients: the vinegar, sugar, salt, cloves, cinnamon, and cayenne and stir everything together. Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring the contents to a boil.
Once this happens, reduce the heat to low - the sauce should stay at a low simmer so adjust the heat as necessary to achieve this.
Simmer the sauce over low heat for 1 hour, stirring it often. The vegetables will soften and the liquid will reduce and thicken. And your kitchen will smell incredible.
After an hour, remove the pot from the heat and let the sauce cool. Ladle the sauce into jars and keep them sealed or covered in the fridge. It will last for weeks.
Makes about 4 cups.
You can also ladle hot sauce into jars for canning using mason jars and a hot water processing method.
This sauce is delicious spooned over hotdogs or burgers, over grilled chicken or tossed with shredded chicken. You can also make an appetizer by spooning the sauce over a block of cream cheese and serving it as a spread with crackers.