This summer, as always, we had a bumper crop of tomatoes that continued well into autumn. I don’t tend to eat many fresh, raw tomatoes so I needed to find a recipe that would use up kilos of them at a time.
I looked at a number of recipes for tomato sauce, passata and tomato jam before settling on Jamie Oliver’s homemade tomato ketchup recipe from his Jamie at Home book. Jamie’s recipes always seem to turn out the way they’re supposed to so I knew this one would be fail-safe.
It takes a full day to make this recipe because of the preparation and cooking time, so plan ahead if you’re going to try it.
- Roughly chop 1 peeled large red onion, half a bulb of fennel, 1 stick of celery, a thumb-sized piece of peeled ginger, 2 cloves of garlic, the stalks from a bunch of basil (keep the leaves for later) and half a deseeded red chilli.
- Place all the chopped veg in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds, 2 cloves, 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper and a good pinch of salt.
- Cook over a low heat for 15 to 20 minutes until softened.
- Add 1kg of cherry or plum tomatoes and 300ml cold water. If the tomatoes are very juicy, you may not need all the water or even any water.
- Bring to the boil and then simmer until the sauce has reduced by half, stirring occasionally. This may take up to 3 hours.
- Add the basil leaves and then blitz the sauce with a stick blender until it is like a smooth soup. Sieve the sauce twice and put in a large clean saucepan.
- Add in 200ml red wine vinegar and 70g brown sugar. Simmer the sauce over a low heat until it reduces and thickens to the consistency of tomato ketchup. This process can also take up to 3 hours.
- Spoon the ketchup into sterilised jars or bottles, seal tightly and store in a cool dark place or in the fridge. It should keep for up to 6 months.
For all the effort involved in making this tomato ketchup, you only get about 6 jars of sauce but it is so tasty it’s worth it. It goes really well with homemade oven chips, burgers and sausages.
Double or triple the quantities if you have more than a kilo of tomatoes.