Ketchup Challenge

Ketchup Challenge

My husband and 9-year-old son are mad for tomato ketchup.  Now the 9-year-old won’t be persuaded that anything other than Heinz should be his ketchup of choice but my husband is considerably more adventurous in his tastes.  As is often the case, the suggestion that I might make one of his favourite foods (pork pies and scotch eggs have recently been attempted) was met with keen anticipation.  There was one stipulation though – tomato ketchup must have spice and lots of it.

Adding the spices and other ingredients

Ever one to rise to any challenge set by the husband (naturally), I got to work with researching recipes in my small collection of preserve cookbooks and trawled through an assortment of ideas on the internet.  The recipe I came up with is below and the husband is pretty pleased with the resulting sauce.  A perfect barbecue accompaniment, it will definitely feature with tomorrow’s delicious salmon and chorizo burgers, weather permitting, and no doubt bacon sarnies will get a good dollop of it at the weekend.

I should point out that as this ketchup responds directly to the husband’s brief, it is quite spicy so do cut down on the chillis if you prefer a milder style.

The bottled product

Recipe for Spicy Tomato Ketchup

2 kilos ripe tomatoes (I used a mix of locally grown cherry tomatoes & some bigger ones)
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 bay leaves & 2 blades of mace
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp celery salt
10ml Worcestershire Sauce
250ml red wine vinegar
2 large red chillis, roughly chopped with seeds
100g dark muscovado sugar
1 tsp salt & black pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients, with the exception of the sugar, in a large pan or preserving pan.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes on a low to medium heat.

Blend the ingredients with a hand blender, or in a food processor, until smooth.

Pour the tomato liquid into a sieve and push it through into a bowl with a wooden spoon.

Clean out your original pan and pour the sieved mixture back into it.  Add the sugar.

Bring the pan to a rolling boil and continue to heat until the mixture thickens.

Check for seasoning and allow to cool.

Pour the ketchup into sterilised sauce bottles and cool completely before refrigerating.

The ketchup will keep for up to 3 months in a cool, dark place but should be refrigerated and used within two weeks once the bottle is opened.  The above ingredients will make about six small ketchup-sized bottles like those in the photo.

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