Recipe: tomato sauce (it’s like ketchup but better!)

Here it is!

After promising  (and forgetting) then promising again, here is my current favourite recipe for tomato sauce. Or ketchup if you are American. I will not be swayed on terminology, especially with Matt Preston declaring our take on catsup more sophisticated due to it being more vinegary and less sugary than its American counterpart 😉 And who is going to argue with Matt Preston?!

Tomato Sauce

You will need:
1L vinegar
1kg sugar
150g salt
6 cloves garlic (crushed)
6 cloves (ground)
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp sweet paprika

5kg tomatoes (peeled and rough chopped)
1kg brown onions (peeled and rough chopped)
1kg green apples (peeled, cored and rough chopped)

Allspice (to taste)

Glass bottles and lids

Step 1
Place vinegar, sugar, salt and spices (except allspice) into a large stockpot and bring to the boil. Prepare the tomatoes, apples and onions (see here for how to peel tomatoes quickly) then add to vinegar mixture once it is boiling. If your pot isn’t ridiculously huge you may want to halve the recipe.

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Tip: if you have a food mill for step 3, you can skip peeling your tomatoes. I don’t have one so I peel- easier now than later. I also don’t bother to remove the seeds. They cook down soft and add good flavour.

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Step 2
Bring to boil and then reduce to a simmer for 2 hours. While the sauce bubbles away, wash your bottles in hot, soapy water. Rinse clean and leave to dry.

Step 3
After two hours, pass the sauce through a food processor or mill in batches. Return to the pot and bring back up to the boil. Add ground allspice to taste (I like plenty and feel it adds body to the sauce). Keep at a simmer until you reach desired consistency-no more than a half hour or so. The sauce will thicken a little more when it cools, so keep this in mind. Or, you know, forget and accidentally make chutney. I may or may not have done that once or twice 😉

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Step 4
Place bottles in a hot oven to sterilise for 10 minutes. The lids can go into a bowl of boiling water. Rummage around in the drawer to find a ladle and funnel. They are probably at the back 😉 Fill your bottles. It should be hot sauce into hot bottles to avoid glass cracking. Fasten the lids tight.

Step 5
I am going to go ahead and tell you to waterbath your sauce so that it will be shelf stable for 12 months. This is the current recommendation for safety reasons. I don’t want anyone blaming me for contracting botulism! Personally, I am old-fashioned and happy to use the overflow method for bottling sauce. But I told you to waterbath for safety. Remember that :-p

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So long as you keep your ratios of tomatoes, sugar and vinegar the same, it is safe to half or double the recipe. Hell, you can quadruple it if you have a massive tomato glut. Do NOT mess with the vinegar and sugar ratios though! You can also play around with the spices, or use different varieties of tomatoes, apples and onions. Make the sauce your own 🙂

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The batch I bottled yesterday has tomatoes from a local farm as well apples and tomatoes from our recent trip down to Stanthorpe. I love buying the local produce wherever we visit.

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Apologies to those I promised this recipe to months ago.

Happy bottling xx

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4 thoughts on “Recipe: tomato sauce (it’s like ketchup but better!)

  1. I’ve made some and I’ll never by it from a shop again! It’s so easy (I used up a giant tomato tin) it just takes time.

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