I stumbled upon a homemade ketchup recipe in Jamie Oliver's latest cookbook and was surprised that I never even considered making my own. The latest organic offering from Heinz is rich and delicious on fries and hotdogs - why mess with perfection. A challenge was born.
The basic premise is to cook down some veggies, spices and herbs until the concentrated flavor hits the delicious meter. This was more challenging that I anticipated. In the end, I changed up the recipe quite a bit. The flavor was more complex but not tomatoey enough so the next day I added 3 cups of V8 and cooked it down for another 2 hours. The end result was an intense roasted veggie and tomato concoction that will go toe to toe with any store bought brand.
Homemade Ketchup, Round 1
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery root, chopped
2 unpeeled organic carrots, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 tbsp chopped parsley
3 tbsp chopped celery leaves
2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp ground pepper
1 pound fresh tomatoes, rough chopped
15 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar
3 cups V8 juice
1 bunch fresh basil - leaves and stems seperated
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Rough chop veggies and combine with ginger, garlic, pepper, parsley, coriander, cloves and basil stems in a large pot with 1/4 cup of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium low heat, stirring every few minutes for about half an hour until softened.
Add fresh, canned and juiced tomatoes and bring to a boil.
This was Lillie's favorite part - seeing the fresh tomatoes enter the pot and making that flavor connection.
Reduce heat to medium low again and simmer gently until the sauce reduces by half. Stir every few minutes.
Add the basil leaves and then puree sauce in a top-load blender or with a immersion blender.
Push through a sieve into a clean pan and add vinegar and sugar.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer again until the consistency is similar to bottled tomato ketchup. Stir often with a silicon spatula along the bottom surface to keep from clumping and burning. Season to taste - I added another tsp or two of salt and a little more sugar. A splash of vinegar to boost the acidity might have been added too...
Let the ketchup cool and then use your funnel to transfer to clean jars and bottles. Store in your fridge for up to 4 months.
Once chilled, apply liberally to french fries, corn dogs, hot dogs, tater tots, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, onion rings, scrambled eggs...