Matt Preston’s Best Ever Tomato Sauce (Ketchup) recipe

Makes: 2x 750ml bottles

There is an argument for not cooking the staples: bread, pasta, ketchup.

Until you do.

Example one? A pita bread Nat cooked a few months back for a Lebanese dinner we cooked. A texture, a taste in superior, pale comparison to the stuff we get in the bread aisle.

Example two? A good friend Kieran, locked down in isolation though with the skills and technology to make crumpets… did so. Not only was it easy he said, though again… the texture and taste where so vastly better than the stuff at Coles that he now refuses to look at them at Coles.

And then there is this example from Nat. Ketchup.

True, we are a family that makes it own sausages and so perhaps it isn’t to much of a jump to make our own ketchup. Except that as per paragraph one of this blog, it wasn’t until we made our own ketchup that we knew why you should.

This ketchup by Matt Preston has a warmth and depth you just cannot find in a store-bought ketchup. With a good sausage (and I am a believer that ketchup should be exclusively used for sausages, hamburgers and meatloaf only and definitely not chips), it is the equal hero with the sausage.

So good, Nat has made three batches which have been delivered in empty gin and vodka bottles to neighbours, parents and sisters. (We have discovered that access to suitable bottling has not been at all an issue in this lockdown!)

Not only because it’s isolation and you’re looking for something to do… make your own ketchup because it’s like the homemade pasta, freshly-baked crumpets of condiments.

Ingredients

2.5kg ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 large onions, coarsely chopped
10 Whole Cloves
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups (clear) white malt vinegar

Method

  1. Put the chopped tomato + onion, cloves, berries, paprika, garlic, cinnamon and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil. Simmer, uncovered, stirring every now and then, until the tomato breaks down and is tender. It takes about 1 hour. 
  2. Add the sugar and vinegar. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for a further hour and 15 minutes or until mixture reduces, thickens and is of a saucy consistency. Adjust seasoning.
  3. Strain mixture through a coarse sieve into a large bowl, in batches, pressing down strongly to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids or use as a relish. Pour hot mixture into (Vodka, Gin or Tequilla) bottles. Store in the fridge.

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