Ketchup is a complex and venerable old sauce with a ton of fascinating ingredients — no one is quite sure where it originated, but everybody agrees it’s an absolute necessity in the kitchen. Make it yourself for a real treat!
This is just so much fun. It’s a bit like a witch’s brew…a little of this, a little of that. I do admit, though, I got somewhat carried away. I added some molasses. Then I added some rum. A pinch of allspice, a dash of cardamom. A jalapeno. But I didn’t make all this up, ketchup is a venerable old sauce, and before you start waving your flag and claiming that good old American ketchup can’t have all that crazy stuff in it, let me remind you that ketchup dates back to 17th century China and Malaysia. And back then it was made with pickled fish.
Don’t judge. Just slather some on that burger and then get back to me.
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 jalapeno pepper, rough chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 28 oz can of San Marzano tomatoes
- 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 Tbsp molasses
- 3 Tbsp amber rum
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp mustard powder
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- a inch of cinnamon
- a pinch of cardamom
- a pinch of allspice
- a pinch of ground cloves
- a pinch of ground ginger
- a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
- a pinch of white pepper
- a pinch of paprika
- a pinch of celery seed
- Put the onion, jalapeno, garlic and sugar in a blender or food processor and process until minced. Then add the can of tomatoes and process for at least a minute, until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Add the vinegar and water and pulse to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer. Add in the rest of the ingredients.
- I know that seems a little excessive, but these old sauces were real concoctions. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, for about an hour to an hour and a quarter. You don't have to hover over it, just stir occasionally. But like all good tomato sauces, it does have a tendency to splatter, so I used a splatter screen.
- When the sauce is thick enough for you, taste to check the seasonings, and pour it into clean jars. Let it cool before refrigerating. It should keep at least a month in the fridge.