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Homemade ketchup is one of those additions that can make a meal look and taste like way more than the sum of  its parts, elevating burgers, chips and steak to new levels or making something fairly mundane really very memorable. I originally set out to make a quick ketchup to go with lunch (polenta-coated crab fishcakes, herby salad, avocado) but I decided to skip the critical sieving and re-boiling steps, which turn it from a chunky tomato ‘relish’ to a legitimately-monikered ‘ketchup’, because I thought the flavours would be too harsh if I used it immediately. If you are intending to make ketchup in large quantities, the basic premise is to boil chopped tomatoes (say a kilo) with spices (any mix of fennel seed, coriander seed, a pinch of cinnamon, bashed up cloves, black pepper, salt) garlic and an onion for about 45 minutes. When the tomato mixture has reduced by a third, blend, sieve and add sugar (say 100g), vinegar (70ml), lemon juice and seasoning to the juice. Boil for another 10-15 minutes, or until it has thickened satisfactorily. Season to taste – add more sugar, vinegar, spices or lemon juice and continue to cook. Bottle in sterilised jars and keep for a week before eating; consume within six months. There are lots of recipes online for homemade ketchup that go into more detail than I have done here, many of which look very nice. One note: I would advise omitting fennel root from any recipe that suggests it – it bullies every other flavour out of the reckoning.

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1 comment on “Warm Tomato Relish, January 2013

  1. This looks delicious. Beautiful photography. Please check out the food blog I’ve just started http://www.surreyKitchen.wordpress.com. Thanks!

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