Tomato Ketchup

Home made tomato ketchup is always demoralising. You spend a whole day, and a load of not-cheap ingredients, all to make something which is almost as good as you can get in the store.

Then I discovered this recipe. It actually makes sense how it all comes together, and it’s delicious. It’s not the same as store bought, but it exists in a different place on the same plane. Enjoy!

    • 5lb / 2.25kg ripe tomatoes (or equivalent in canned, crushed tomatoes – two 28oz/795g cans)
    • 1 onion
    • 6 cloves
    • 4 allspice berries
    • 1 oz / 25g fresh ginger, sliced
    • 6 black peppercorns
    • 1 fresh rosemary sprig
    • 1 parsnip, peeled, quartered, and roasted OR 1 celery heart
    • 2 tbsp light brown sugar *
    • 4.5 tbsp / 65ml raspberry vinegar *
    • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
    • 1 tbsp salt

Peel and seed the tomatoes (or open the can!) and place in a large saucepan. Peel the brown papery leaves from the onion, leaving the roots and the tip intact. Stud the cloves into the onion and place in the pan.

Put the allspice, peppercorns, and ginger into a spice bag or tie them into a small bag of cheesecloth and place into the pan. Add the roasted parsnip to the pan with the sugar, vinegar, garlic, and salt.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat then reduce to low heat and simmer for about 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring regularly, until reduced by half. Remove spice bag. Blend until smooth in a food processor or with a handheld blending stick, then simmer for another 15 minutes. Store in the fridge.

* I ended up doubling both of these to get the taste I was looking for. By doubling these it has also increased the shelf life. I would not recommend boiling water bath processing this recipe as it has not been checked by the USDA. The raspberry vinegar was a pest to acquire – you can make it yourself with raspberries steeped in vinegar, or you can try it with other vinegars such as malt, cider, wine, balsamic….

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