Red Ketchup

I had decided that I wasn’t going to try making ketchup this year, at least not in any reasonably large quantity.  You see, there are no more canning jars left.  I used them all up on more salsa (which I’ll tell you all about soon, I promise), and of course everything that came before that.  And between the grape jam, roasted fig preserves, and even more salsa that I made since running out of canning jars, there was no reason to even venture into what passes for a pantry in our miniscule kitchen: two shelves that are too narrow to hold anything more useful than a bunch of now-filled canning jars.  But then there were Roma tomatoes on sale for a dollar a pound last week at the farmer’s market.  SERIOUSLY?  And organic, to boot.  So that was the end of my resolve and the beginning of the game “what else can we put ketchup on?”

Luckily I have friends who point out extremely good (if not also extremely obvious… although clearly not obvious enough) ways to deal with too much ketchup.  Such as freezing it.  So now there is a pint plus two smaller (half-pint?) jars of ketchup in the freezer, and my only worry is remembering that they’re there.  As for the other pint of ketchup in the fridge, I have only two words: eggs and potatoes.  If you are not a fan of ketchup on eggs (with or without a stabilizing layer of toast underneath… cheese being optional) I can’t really help you, other than to suggest that you halve this recipe and freeze most of it.  Although to be honest, with only one egg in the fridge at present, other ketchup-consumption ideas would be more than welcome.

Important note:  this recipe has been altered from the original and is probably not safe to can in a hot water bath.

Red Ketchup (Adapted from Canning for a New Generation)
(Made 3 pints of fairly thick ketchup)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 large cloves garlic, chopped
6 pounds of Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 cup mixed distilled white vinegar + apple cider vinegar (5% acidity) or more if desired
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large pot, heat the olive oil and add the onions and garlic, cooking until the onion is soft and almost clear.  Add all the other ingredients and cook for about an hour.  If you have an immersion blender, get it out and blend that pot of rather runny ketchup-in-the-making into a perfectly smooth still rather runny sauce.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, use a regular blender or food processor, but be careful with the hot liquid.  Now comes the fun part: let the ketchup simmer on low for another 2-4 hours, until it reaches the thickness that you associate with any decent ketchup.  I surprised myself and managed to wait around 4 hours before declaring the ketchup done.  Keep a half-pint (or pint) of the ketchup in the fridge and freeze the rest in smallish glass jars (half-pint or pint) until the ketchup craving strikes!

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2 thoughts on “Red Ketchup

  1. Pingback: Asparagus, Fava Beans, and Shelling Peas | Black Holes for Breakfast

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