Homemade ketchup? Why? Why would someone even attempt to make such a thing? We know that it is available at grocery stores and a bottle is relatively inexpensive. So why bother? Well, because if you enjoy preparing meals at home and experimenting in the kitchen, you will enjoy making your own ketchup. This time of the year, (almost the end of August) tomatoes are everywhere. If you planted your own garden, you might be giving away tomatoes to neighbors, family members and coworkers. The fruit stands and local farmers markets are inundated with large amounts and varieties of tomatoes. So why not use your surplus and learn how easy it is to make ketchup? I like to slow cook this recipe and avoid the use of High-fructose corn syrup. You might as well take this opportunity to make it with ingredients that will help lower the content of sugar and sodium. You can also utilize herbs for flavors that are more to your liking.
1 gal. tomatoes, crushed
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup vinegar
1 small pepper
1 tsp. salt
¼ teaspoon liquid smoke (available where you find barbecue sauce)
Mix all ingredients; bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until mixture is not quite as thick as apple sauce. Pour into jars while mixture is still hot and seal. Yield about 6 pints. This is delicious with meats, vegetables, and fried food.
I love this ketchup. The fact that it is not really smooth like the store bought, gives it more of a homemade look. Want to make it gourmet? Try adding a splash of good red wine or make it a little spicy with chopped jalapenos.