March 22, 2015

Homemade Ketchup that Rocks!

Homemade Ketchup that Rocks!
I'm sure I've mentioned a few times that I like to make my family & friends Christmas presents, usually food, every year. Last year I made everything gluten-free since a family friend has a gluten sensitivity and another friend eats gluten free because his son is a bonafide Celiac.

Last year's offerings were Worcestershire sauce, Tamari Sauce, and some good old-fashioned BBQ sauce. For the BBQ sauce, I found a base sauce I liked, and started to tweak from there. For me it was more than interesting that the BBQ sauce was going to use as ingredients some of the other things I've made, not just this year, but in the past as well.

Now the base of most BBQ....ok, wet & not white BBQ sauce (oh God, never the white...) is some sort of ketchup, sugar, and spices. My intention was to substitute my homemade pineapple jam for the sugar in the BBQ and I really didn't want to be adding other sugar in the form of store-bought ketchup.

This means I have to make my own ketchup......CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

This is actually pretty easy to do, but it takes a decent amount of time and at least in my case, a bit of trial and error. Cooking is done in a slow cooker, but I learned that not just any slow cooker will do. Out of the three I have, only the smallest of mine, the 1 & 1/2 qt, worked worth a damn. I tried scaling this up with my 3 qt and 8 qt slow-cookers and it just didn't cook down.

The original recipe comes from Chef John at allrecipes.com and is tweaked mostly by substitution ingredients, which have been denoted with italics. "Substitution" might be an odd word selection because some are the regular ingredients, just once I made myself.

Ketchup cooking down
1 hour in, 10 more to go...
Ingredients:
2 x 28 oz cans ground tomatoes
2/3 cups Pineapple Jam
3/4 Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 3/4 Alderwood Smoked Salt
1/8 tsp Celery Salt
1/8 tsp Mustard Powder
1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
1 whole clove

1/2 cup water

Directions:
Dump everything except the water into your slow cooker. Use the water to swish-out the cans to get every last bit of tomatoes out. Give the thinned ketchup a stir, turn the slow-cooker on HIGH, and cook for 10-12 hours uncovered. Makes sure to stir the cooking ketchup every hour or so.

Once the kecthup is cooked down, turn off the cooker and allow to cool. Blend the cooled ketchup and strain. Tweak seasonings as needed (but I haven't felt that was necessary) and bottle for future use.

Note:
This smells awesome as it cooks down....plan accordingly!

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