Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Homemade Tomato Ketchup

A couple of weeks ago I started working for kitchen appliance manufacturer Kenwood, as a home economist. It's been a fun and interesting two weeks. Aside from the performance testing of blenders and juicers, there's also been lots of food - cookies, chocolate mousse, carrot cake, curries, banana milkshakes... it's a tough job.

The new flat is also doing pretty well, except for a couple of issues involving the oven and shower, but the landlord is going to get me new ones.

I've got Billy staying with me for a few weeks. He came down last Friday, which meant we had our 2nd anniversary together on Saturday, and it's been great to finally have our own space. He also met my friend, Rachel, who came down to visit me on Sunday, along with her boyfriend and baby. She brought some presents for us both, including a Le Creuset salt crock (which looks awesome in my kitchen) and some food treats like posh Italian nougat and black olive pate. We also had a lovely meal at the Italian restaurant Zizzi.

So, on to the tomato sauce. At work, there were 5kg of tomatoes left over and, not wanting them to see the bottom of a bin, I brought them home. 2kg went into a beef curry, another 2kg were oven dried and are now stored in a kiln jar, topped up with olive oil, and the last 1kg went into making tomato sauce.

In The New English Kitchen, Rose Prince writes that overripe tomatoes can be cooked down with onions, to store and use as a base for a whole variety of dishes - curries, stews, soups, pizzas. Her recipe for tomato sauce, along with the obvious tomatoes, contains just olive oil, onions, and garlic - no vinegar to help preserve it. As a result, Rose's sauce will last just a few days in the fridge (or a few months, if frozen).

However, Valentine Warner and Jamie Oliver, in their cookbooks What To Eat Now More Please! and Jamie at Home respectively, both use vinegar to help preserve the sauce. Jamie says that the sauce can be kept for up to 6 months, either in the fridge or a dark, cool place.

Homemade Tomato Ketchup

For this recipe I used a food processor to almost puree the tomatoes, onion and garlic, so the cooking time might be slightly longer if you're chopping them by hand. I also wanted to use 100% red wine vinegar, rather than using malt vinegar, but the shop didn't have any, so I only had the 40ml I had in the cupboard. You can also adjust the spices to taste. Don't forget to sterilise your jars.

Makes 500ml - 600ml (approx.) 

1kg tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
200g soft brown sugar
160ml malt vinegar
40ml red wine vinegar
1 clove
1tbsp coriander seeds
1tsp fine sea salt
1/2tsp English mustard powder 
1/2tsp dried chilli flakes
1/2tsp ground cinnamon
1/2tsp ground ginger
1/2tsp celery salt

Add all the ingredients to a large pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 30 minutes. Allow it to cool down a little before using a hand blender or food processor to liquify the mixture. Taste and add any extra sugar or vinegar or salt, if necessary, then pour into jars. 

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