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Ketchup…from scratch

12.01.09
Having made lard, I’ve been mucking about [very successfully, I may add] with pastry dough. Which lead to tourtiere. Which lead to copious amounts of ketchup being used, which is how I roll with tourtiere. Heinz. I used it up, yep I did. Onto the grocery list it went.

Then I considered a ketchup a friend of mine had given me, that I also had just run out of. She’d made it. It was pretty tasty. I had a 40lb crop of tomatoes this fall, and had some put up. It was time I gave this a go.

No recipe here. It was some pureed tomatoes from the garden. A small tin of organic tomato paste. Some sautéed onion, garlic, and a tad of celery as a base. Tweaked the acid with white vinegar, the sweetness with sugar. Salt, of course. That’s it. Reduced it, immersion blended it, put it through a sieve for texture – and well, it looked like ketchup. Nailed that. Taste? Pretty dang solid. I tend to get jazzed about balancing acid and sugar in general – so ketchup may just present enough of a challenge to keep making it. With very little effort, I ended up with about a quart. That should last, oh, until next week if I keep making tourtiere. Ketchup has been scratched off the grocery list.

2 Responses

  1. I would love the recipe. Post it? Please?

  2. Kevin says:

    Valerie – this is a great example of why I tend to avoid recipes if I can, as too often ‘it depends’. In this case, puréeing tomatoes with an aromatic base of some kind [allium required, imo] is easy enough – the key is in the acid/sugar balance and salt volume/intensity. My issue is that if I prescribed how much acid or sugar to use, and someone used more acidic or sweeter fruit, my recipe would in fact be misleading, leading them to a different end. To confuse this all further, people’s palates vary widely on how much acid or sugar they like or deem optimal. So it really comes down to one of the key aspects of cookery – learning to balance the elements until you’re pleased. Ketchup. Who knew. Perhaps I’m being too purist about this kind of concept [ie, by not providing at least a place to start - I get it], but my blog-focus as of late has been offering concepts-for-consideration more than recipes-to-try. Not the recipe you were asking for, but I hope this sheds a little light on why.

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