I certainly don’t claim to be the worlds biggest fan of tomato ketchup, but I live with people who do like it – and I admit that it has its uses. One small bottle usually lasts quite a long time at the back of our fridge. However I like a challenge so when I came across a recipe for home made Tomato Ketchup I thought I had better give it a try, particularly as I could see exactly what the ingredients were. The finished result was a bit of a revelation. If you are going to keep ketchup in the fridge then this is definitely the type to have. Not that I will be splurging it over all my food from now on, but I will sometimes be using it in cooking (a lovely pork marinade recipe will follow soon) – and it has made my family very happy!
Celia at Fig Jam & Lime Cordial first brought this tomato ketchup recipe to my attention. It comes from Pam Corbin who often features in the Channel 4 River Cottage television series and her book Preserves: River Cottage Handbook No 2. Celia has two versions of Roasted Tomato Ketchup on her site. In the first one you pre-roast and sieve the tomatoes with other ingredients to make home made passata which is then made into ketchup. This is the quick version, which uses shop bought passata. Using commercial passata has its disadvantages as you miss out on the flavours of the onion and garlic which are roasted with the tomatoes, however these can be added if you wish. (Chop and fry a small chopped onion with a crushed clove of garlic in a little olive oil, without browning, before simmering with the passata and mixing with the remaining ingredients. The pieces of of onion and garlic need to be strained from the ketchup before bottling: for a more pronounced flavour liquidise the onion and garlic into the passata before straining.) In its form without the added onion and garlic this is a fairly speedy recipe, taking just 45 minutes from start of cooking to filled bottles. The yield was two 300ml bottles with a little over. The only disadvantage is that the shelf life is fairly short. The finished ketchup must be kept in fridge and used within 4 months. I have discovered that the remainder of a bottle close to its use by date freezes well for later use in marinade type recipes.
(This needs a better photograph – something to rectify when I make my next batch of ketchup.)
Speedy Tomato Ketchup
1ltr passata (or home made roasted tomato passata)
100ml white wine vinegar
50ml lemon juice (about one lemon)
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 heaped teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground ginger
a few grinds of black pepper
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
100g brown sugar
1. Put all the ingredients, apart from the sugar, in a heavy based pot. Bring to a gentle simmer.
2. Add the sugar and stir well until dissolved.
3. Continue simmering for 20-30 minutes. If the sauce is removed from the heat too early it can be rather thin so it needs to reduce until it has the usual familiar thick ketchup consistency. It will continue to thicken a little as it cools as well.
4. Wash the bottles well and sterilise. I usually do this by filling the with boiling water and also putting the lids in a bowl of boiling water. I pour away the water just before filling each bottle and immediately take the lid from the bowl and screw it on to seal.
5. Taste the ketchup and adjust the seasoning if needed.
6. Using a sterilised funnel, pour the ketchup into the prepared bottle, screw on the tops. Allow to cool and label.
7. The ketchup must be stored in the fridge. The original recipe states that it will keep for up to four months. Any ketchup close to its use by date can be frozen.