Ketchup is one of the, if not THE, most essential condiment to have when it comes to grilling. Whether you’re spreading it on a frankfurters or adding into delicious homemade BBQ sauce, a good ketchup makes all the difference. So to ensure that your ketchup is of quality, why not make your own? You’ll need:
- 1 bunch of Basil Stalks - Chopped
- 1 bunch of Basil Leaves - Chopped
- Coriander seeds
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 5 Pounds of Tomatoes - Diced
- 1 Large Onion - Chopped
- ½ a Bulb of Fennel - Chopped
- 1 Celery Stick - Chopped
- Small Pieces of Ginger
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- ½ a Red Chili - Chopped
Begin by finding yourself a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add in a big splash of olive oil with your peeled and chopped fresh ginger, peeled and sliced garlic, red chili, basil STALKS, and spices – a couple of cloves and a tablespoon of coriander seeds.
Now add in the slew of vegetables you’ve prepared: the onion, fennel and celery stick.
Once all of that is in your saucepan, season with freshly ground pepper and a healthy pinch of salt. Cook gently over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until softened, stirring every so often. This is when you get to add in all those lovely tomatoes. Dice up your 5 pounds of tomatoes (any variety will do). Once your tomatoes are added, pour in about 1 ½ cups of cold water. Bring to a boil, and simmer gently until the sauce reduces by half.
Add the fresh basil leaves, then whiz the sauce in a food processor or with a hand blender, and push it through a sieve twice, to make it smooth and shiny. Put the sauce in a clean pan and add ¾ of a cup of red wine vinegar and ½ a cup of soft brown sugar. Place the sauce on heat, and simmer until it reduces and thickens to the consistency of tomato ketchup. At this point, give it a taste, and correct accordingly.
Spoon the ketchup through a sterilized funnel into sterilized bottles, then seal tightly, and place in a cool dark place or the refrigerator until needed. Your newly made homemade ketchup should keep for about 6 months, which means that you can enjoy it all summer and well into the fall. Homemade ketchup also makes a great gift. After all, it’s something that nearly everyone uses, but very few people make!