I love ketchup. I think ketchup is a gorgeous condiment and I can't resist how it tastes with eggs and fries and anything on a bun (except hot dogs. Never hot dogs). And, for reasons I cannot even begin to understand, I've never thought of making ketchup at home. I've made mustard, cured olives, bottled pepper sauce - if it can be made, I've made it. Or so I thought.
Browsing Tastespotting one day, I noticed a picture and a recipe for home-made ketchup. Ketchup? Ketchup! My friend Lynda, too, started making ketchup at home, using Sally Fallon's recipe for fermented ketchup.
I looked at a few recipes online and decided to go with my gut rather than follow someone else's well-worn path. I also wanted it to be cane sugar-free and vegan. Ketchup recipes usually contain Worcestershire sauce, which contains anchovies, or fish sauce. I'm not vegan, but I wanted to create an alternative to the standard ketchup recipes out there.
The recipe below is strongly seasoned - I'd recommend cutting the spices in two if you like slightly more subtle ketchup. And leave out ingredients you don't like. I'm a firm believer in tailoring dishes to your own taste and trimming, cutting, and adding ingredients where it makes sense. Except in baking. So feel free to play with the recipe.
Cake & Commerce's Tomato Ketchup (never call it catsup!)
- 24 oz pureed tomatoes
- 10 oz water
- 1/4 C agave syrup
- 1 T Molasses (Grandma's or similar)
- 1 t soy sauce
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
Whole spices (place these in cheesecloth and tie with string or your life is gonna get tough):
- 1 t whole cloves
- 1 t whole black peppercorns
- 1/2 t whole allspice
- 1/2 t whole mustard seed
- 1 t whole green cardamom
- 1/2 stick cinnamon
- 6 slices ginger, about 1" diameter each
Ground spices - combine:
- 1/4 t cumin, ground
- 1/2 t coriander, ground (not cilantro)
- 1/4 t paprika
- 1/4 t cayenne
- 1/4 t ground white pepper
- 1/4 t turmeric
- 1 6 oz can of tomato paste
- 1 T sherry vinegar
- 3 T sauerkraut juice (substitute vinegar)
- 1 t salt
Sweat (saute until translucent) the garlic and onions. Add in tomato puree, water, agave and molasses, and soy. Stir in ground spices (cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, white pepper, and turmeric) and add sachet of whole spices and ginger to the mix. Bring to a simmer.
Depending on how spiced you like it, either remove the spices after 15 minutes or, if you are like me, leave them in for up to an hour while you are reducing the sauce.
At the one hour mark or after you have removed the spices, you'll want to blend up the remaining mixture - the preferred method is the food mill. If you don't have one, you can use a hand blender (buy one if you don't have one) or a blender or a food processor. Puree until smooth. No chunks!
Check the viscosity. If it has reduced by 30%, add in 6 oz of tomato paste and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Recheck viscosity. If sauce is thick enough to form a firm peak when a spoon is removed from the sauce, it is good. If not, let it simmer a bit more.
Once it is cooled, add in vinegar, the sauerkraut juice (if you have it - if you don't substitute more sherry vinegar), and the salt. Adjust flavors as necessary. If you like it sweeter, add another teaspoon or two of agave (remember, it is very sweet!).
Allow to sit out at room temperature for 24 hours (no higher than 68 degrees f). If you aren't loving the flavor, augment with a little tomato paste, tasting with each addition. The paste can taste metallic and 'raw' (not literally, but it isn't a 'mellow' flavor), so you'll want to add carefully.
It will keep in refrigerator for a few weeks. You could also hot process it if you like for shelf-stability. But that's tricky and not for the faint of heart. Or for me to explain here. Or you could freeze some of it. It makes quite a bit, probably more than you'll use in a few weeks.
This morning I tried this ketchup with eggs. And it was deeelightful. I hope you'll use this recipe as a starting off point for your own ketchup. Feel free to change it up and make it your own.
This post was part of the Food Renegade's FIGHT BACK FRIDAY, April 10th, 2009