The Condiment Series: A Nod To Ketchup

I’m so happy about this new series. I’ve always wanted to make my own condiments, but they were usually last on my list of things to try. Why? Ya got me since we use many sauces, BBQ sauce, relishes and especially ketchup all the time. This recipe is ready to eat or ready to can – just make sure to use kosher or canning salt and you’re good to go.

Fabulous Tomato Ketchup (updated)

(makes one pint)

6 cups tomatoes
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 small or 1/2 large red bell pepper
1 1/2 teas canning salt
1/2 teas whole cloves
1/2 teas celery seed
1/2 teas cumin
1/2 teas ground mustard
1/2 teas black pepper
1/4 teas cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
few dashes Worcestershire (optional)

Boil the first seven ingredients for about a half hour until the tomatoes are tender and purée in a blender. And don’t bother peeling or seeding the tomatoes; we’re going to pass them through a strainer later on. Return the mixture to the pot and add in the remaining ingredients. Bring it to a low simmer and stir often but keep it covered! This stuff shoots up like a geyser when it boils! (I open the lid and stir from behind just in case.) Slowly simmer for another 1 1/2 hours or whenever you’ve reached a nice thick consistency, stirring often.

Working in batches, strain the purée. (Using a food mill is way easier… this is all I had on hand at the time.)

Try to get most of it through. It’ll be the difference between a thick ketchup or a watery ketchup, and what a shame that would be!

Begin canning the ketchup (if you plan to) at this point. Add it back to the pot and keep it hot until you’re ready to fill your jars. Use the water bath method and process for 20 minutes. Read the main canning page for further instructions. Keep for up to 2 years.

Otherwise, refrigerate and enjoy. It’ll last for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

French fries beware.