Better from the bottle?

or just different?

Ketchup is one of those few things that we are so used to commercially processed, out of the bottle that it doesn’t even occur to many people that you can make it.  It is so different that many people wont like the homemade variety simply because it isn’t like the store brand.  Marshmallows are another good example, but the homemade marshmallows recipe from Alton Brown (found on the Food Network website) is totally worth the effort.  The odd thing about homemade ketchup is that the more work and creativity you put into it, the less it is going to taste like bottled ketchup.

A brief history of ketchup according to the Food Lover’s Companion:


Ketchup is derived from a Chinese pickled-fish sauce called ke-tsiap, popular in the 17th century.  Europeans added anything from nuts to mushrooms, and in the late 1700s New Englanders added tomatoes, and American ketchup was born.  Most common ingredients are tomatoes, vinegar, and sugar along with some spices.

Homemade Ketchup

3 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp olive oil
4 lbs tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup corn syrup
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp celery seed

In a large sauce pot or dutch oven over medium heat, sweat the shallots and the garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes.  Add the rest of the ingredients and continue to heat until boiling, stirring frequently.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook until reduced by about half.  This is going to take awhile, a couple of hours or so.  Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender.  Continue to cook if it does not seem thick enough.  It will thicken as it cools.  Cool completely and serve.

I used some sausage tomatoes I had growing in my garden, an heirloom variety that was suggested for sauces.  Moisture content of tomatoes will vary so cooking times will as well.



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