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How to: make tomato ketchup

Try this ketchup just once and you and the kids will never go back to shop-bought again. Spice it up with chilli or smoked paprika if you like.

The recipe makes six 250ml jars.If you are cooking to share with friends and consume within weeks there is no need to heat process the sauce, but if you’d like to store the ketchup for up to two years, you need to protect against bacterial growth by heat-processing.


Image and recipe from Cornersmith by Alex Elliot-Howery and James Grant (Murdoch)


To do it, lay a folded tea towel in the bottom of a large stockpot, then sit the filled jars on the tea towel, keeping them clear of the sides of the pan. Using water about the same temperature as the jars, fill the pan so that the jars are at least three-quarters submerged. Bring to the boil over medium heat. After 10 minutes, remove them and let them cool overnight. You’ll notice a concave dip in the lids the next morning as the cooling sauce produces a vacuum in the jars.


What you need

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 large onions, roughly chopped

2.8 kg tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 large granny smith apples, peeled and cubed

1 litre white wine vinegar

¼ cup salt

11⁄2 tablespoons ground cloves

11⁄2 tablespoons ground ginger

11⁄2 tablespoons ground coriander

1¼ cups firmly packed brown sugar


What to do

In a large saucepan sauté the onions in the vegetable oil until soft.

Add all the remaining ingredients except the sugar, reduce the heat to low and simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat and blitz with a stick blender. Return to a low heat,

cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, sterilise the jars. Wash in hot soapy water, rinse well and place in a cold oven. Heat the oven to 110°C. Leave the jars in the oven for about 10 minutes then remove.

Boil the lids in a large saucepan of boiling water for five minutes, then drain and dry with clean paper towels or air dry on a wire rack.

When the bottles are cool, and the lids completely dry, pour the hot ketchup into the hot bottles and seal immediately.

Heat-process for 10 minutes. Once opened, refrigerate and use within three months.



About this article

Author: Alex Elliott-Howery & James Grant