A transplanted Southern Californian living in North Dakota Idaho, with some insights on life with deaf dogs, a gluten free spouse, and the occasional mischievous garden gnome. Thank you for visiting and I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Homemade Ketchup/Catsup/Katsup/Kyatsoop

Due to the large amount of Roma and Amish Paste tomatoes that we planted in Spring, we recently had a proliferation of tomatoes that I no idea what to do with.  Our freezer is already overflowing with (among other things) chopped/quartered tomatoes that Alycia froze over the Summer, and we've still got a ton of pasta sauce that I made last year that we haven't worked through, so what to do?  Well I've always wanted to make my own catsup...
This is actually about half of the final tomato haul of the season that I used to make catsup.  And to clarify, these are only the ripe ones.  We harvested all the green tomatoes when we ripped out the tomato plants and cleared the raised beds over the weekend, and the green tomatoes are now sitting in a cardboard box in the cellar.  If given a dark, dry place and a few weeks, the green tomatoes will eventually ripen.  They definitely won't be as tasty as the ones that had time to ripen on the vine, but they're certainly better than store bought, and more than adequate for pasta sauce or chopped up and frozen to be used in soups, stews, chili, etc. 
Sorry for the tangent.  I took all our 'maters, heated them up, and added a few ingredients:
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
And brought everything to a bubbling simmer for about 10 minutes.
I pressed the tomato mixture through a strainer, which was actually a decent amount of work.
And catsup came out the bottom of the strainer, as though by magic.  OK, not really magic, more like a combination of gravity and elbow grease*.
For those not familiar with the phrase "elbow grease" (probably anyone under the age of 20), please note that this is just an expression and that I actually don't have any elbow grease, my elbows are remarkably clean and non-greasy, and even if I DID have elbow grease, I certainly would not have added it to my homemade catsup. 
I had to cook it down for a few hours to remove all the liquid and thicken up the mixture.  The recipe said it would only take an hour, but it took me more like 4-5 hours to cook down.  

Some people feel that making your own condiments is some kind of sign of larger issues, or as my Brother-in-law put it "Dude, you made your own ketchup?!?!  You have WAY to much time on your hands."  Yes, yes I do.  And it's wonderful.   


Sara said...

I'm assuming that homemade mayo is next on your list? :)

El Gaucho said...

Nah. We don't use much mayo and it seems pretty gross to make. It's really nothing more than egg yolks, salt, sugar, and oil all whipped together. I do think I'll try to make my own mustard though.

Karen said...

Where is the high fructose corn syrup? Goodness, gracious, ketchup and no HFCS? And thank goodness for clearing up the elbow grease thing. Not sure what EG would do to my cholesterol levels.

Great use of the tomatoes (and your 'spare time'.)