January 20th, 2009

One of the many things that caught my eye in this month’s issue of Saveur was a recipe for homemade ketchup. Ketchup is one of those things I’ve never really thought to make before, but I was intrigued to see how different it would taste.

So of course I gathered all the ingredients, or so I thought, and got to work. It’s pretty simple actually. I just roughly chopped some tomatoes, onions and pepper and tossed them in a pot. I kind of missed the ball when I came to the spices though. First, I didn’t have any cheesecloth handy, so I used some cotton fabric I had. Then I realized I didn’t have cinnamon sticks or celery seeds… whoops. I improvised and added a few peppercorns to the little bundle and tied it up. I also added a tiny bit of ground cinnamon, along with a few other ingredients and let it simmer on the stovetop for a while.

Once everything was nice and soft, I took it off the stove and tossed it all in the food processor. I let it buzz for a minute or two, until everything was nice and smooth. After it started to resemble ketchup, I pushed it all through a strainer and let it simmer a little while longer in order to thicken it a bit.

I bet you’re wondering how it tasted. Well, it was definitely different from Heinz. My ketchup was thicker and a bit sweeter than the bottled stuff. It was really quite delicious actually. I think I may have put a little too much cinnamon in it, but other than that it was rich and full of flavor. I think it would taste great on top of meatloaf. I can’t wait to try it again and add a little spice to it, maybe some cayenne or jalepeno.

homemade ketchup
from saveur

4 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
1 stick cinnamon*
1⁄4 tsp. celery seeds**
1⁄4 tsp. chile flakes
1⁄4 tsp. whole allspice
2 lbs. tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄2 cup white vinegar
5 tbsp. brown sugar
1 onion, chopped
1 anaheim chile, chopped
1 clove garlic

Wrap cloves, bay leaf, cinnamon, celery seeds, chile flakes, and allspice in a layer of cheesecloth; tie into a bundle and put into a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat along with tomatoes, salt, vinegar, sugar, onion, and anaheim chiles; smash and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until onions and chiles are very soft, 40 minutes.
Remove spice bundle; purée sauce in a blender until smooth. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer into a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 30 minutes. Add more salt, sugar, or vinegar, if you like.
Transfer ketchup to a glass jar. Set aside; let cool. Cover with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

*I didn’t have a cinnamon stick so I used 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, which was too much. I think just a pinch would be perfect.
** I also didn’t have celery seeds and used peppercorn instead.

Comments: 18 Total

  1. gaga

    January 20, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Wow, that’s amazing. It looks great, plus without all the preservatives and other gunk in store bought ketchup. Looks great!

  2. Bonnie

    January 21, 2009 at 9:14 am

    I’m going to have to give this a try !

  3. Lindsay

    January 21, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I agree with Bonnie i am definitly going to have to try this!

  4. Lindsay

    January 21, 2009 at 9:36 am

    This recipe would have gone great with my trio of fries I made last week.

  5. Hillary

    January 21, 2009 at 10:12 am

    I didn’t realize ketchup had onions and peppers and cinnamon! Very interesting. You make it look so easy!

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    January 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm
  7. Michelle

    January 21, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Mmmm…now this looks like proper ketchup, unlike the crap produced by Heinz!

  8. Madeline

    January 21, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    This would be the perfect topping for meatloaf. The cinnamon and cloves sound really interesting. I bet it they give a nice background flavor. I’ve been thinking about making my own ketchup ever since I saw Jamie Oliver make it. I think I might just have to.

  9. julibelle

    January 21, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    mmmmm.. homemade ketchup. Love the whole spice thing. This is a great use for that slow cooker…

  10. Sophie

    February 3, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Awesome photos! I’m holding on to this recipe–nothing beats homemade!

  11. merryme

    March 5, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    I make and bottle ketchup every year. It is easy and so much better than what can be had from a store. It does take a bit of time but it is so worth it. You can adjust the spices to your liking and you can add flavors…i.e. habanero, jalapeno, lime, rosemary. The list is only governed by your imaginagion.

  12. I Work For A Living

    March 7, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Dude…if you have the time to make your own ketchup… you really need to get a real job.

  13. guest

    March 7, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Dude, if you think work is more important than doing something you enjoy, you need to get a life.

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