This Tomato Ketchup recipe is sweet, tangy, and spicy, which is perfect condiment for serving with barbecued or grilled meats, or on chips, in sausage, egg and bacon sandwiches etc. And while we are familiar with several makes, a home-made ketchup is far fresher tasting than a shop-bought version.
Ketchup is also known as, catsup, tomato sauce, or red sauce, and it is typically made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, and an assorted amount of seasoning and spices. It is thought (but there are a few other theories) that it stems from the 1690s, when the Chinese mixed pickled fish and spices, and called it kôe-chiap or kê-chiap, meaning the brine of pickled fish. It was then discovered by British explorers, where it had migrated to Malaysia, and by 1740 it had travelled back to the UK, to become a British staple. The Malay word for the sauce was kĕchap, which evolved into the English word ‘ketchup’.
And not too much later, by the late 1700s and early 1800s, a tomato-based version started to appear in Britain, and in the USA, which was sweetened, and this is the version we know today. Heinz Tomato Ketchup was introduced in 1876, but did you know that by hitting the ’57’ logo-mark on a glass Heinz ketchup bottle, it makes the ketchup pour out more quickly and easily, and it was placed there by the company for this purpose, so you would know where to hit.
Tomato Ketchup Recipe
Makes about 1.3 Kg of ketchup to store. Make sure the tomatoes you use are very ripe, but not overly full of water.
- 2.25 Kg ripe tomatoes (peeled and de-seeded)
- 1 onion
- 6 cloves
- 4 allspice berries
- 6 black peppercorns
- fresh rosemary sprig
- 5 fresh basil leaves
- 25g root ginger (sliced)
- stick of celery
- 3 tbsp soft light brown sugar
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves (peeled)
- 1 tbsp sea-salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Blanch and skin the tomatoes: You need two large sized, heat-proof bowls and a sharp knife. Do the tomatoes six at a time. Use the knife to place a small, skin deep, cut into the tomatoes. Put them in a bowl with boiling water (from the kettle) remove them after 30 seconds to a minute, with a slotted spoon, and place them into a bowl of cold water. Then peel at the place where the skin was cut. Refresh the hot water if it starts too get too cold. Cut them half after peeling and de-seed the ripe tomatoes, then chop roughly and place in a large saucepan.
Peel the onion and stud it with the cloves. Tie the onion with the allspice, peppercorns, rosemary, basil and ginger into a large square of double layered muslin cloth (to make a bag) and add it to the pan with the tomatoes. Chop the celery, plus the leaves, and add to the pan with the sugar, red wine vinegar, garlic, black pepper and sea-salt.
Bring the mixture to the boil over a fairly high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 hours, stirring regularly, until the liquid has reduced by half.
Take off the heat, allow to cool, remove the muslin cloth bag, then purée the mixture in a blender or food processor, (or use a stick blender) then return the puree to the pan, bring up to the boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. When you are happy with the thickness (like ketchup) remove from the heat.
When still warm bottle in clean, sterilized Jars and store in the refrigerator. Use within 2 weeks.