Whilst those bottles of well-known brown and red ketchups do a very good job there is nothing that can compete with the flavour of the home-made versions.


I’m going to focus my attention on the classic red sauce, for as the British tomato season flourishes there is no better time to start exploring the art of turning juicy, red and fragrant tomatoes into something worthy of your best chips.



Homemade Tomato Ketchup

(makes approx. 2½ litres)
3.3kg ripe ‘seconds’ tomatoes – roughly chopped
1 onion roughly diced
1 head of garlic – peeled and roughly chopped

110g sea salt
900g sugar
600ml red wine vinegar
½tsp ground chipotle
1 generous tsp whole cloves
½ a nutmeg – grated

¼ tsp ground mace

¼ tsp cinnamon


Put all the ingredients, apart from the nutmeg mace and cinnamon, into a large preserving pan and simmer for approximately three hours.

During the simmering process take care to stir it often with a wooden spoon so it doesn’t catch and burn on the bottom.

Leave to cool slightly before putting the sauce through a food mouli (or use a food processor and then sieve) and then add the nutmeg, mace and cinnamon.

The ketchup is best stored in small stoppered bottles or small Kilner jars that have been sterilised, I have used a variety of recycled bottles including swing topped beer bottles. Sealed and sterilised correctly, these will keep wonderfully in a cool dark cupboard.

Once opened, the individual bottles should be stored in the fridge, where they will keep well for up to a month.

You can follow the same process for other fruits including rhubarb, peach, mango or of course a combination.

See also;

About Seren Charrington-Hollins

ABOUT SEREN-CHARRINGTON-HOLLINS Describing my work through just one job title is difficult; because my professional life sees me wear a few hats: Food Historian, period cook, broadcaster, writer and consultant. I have a great passion for social and food history and in addition to researching food history and trends I have also acted as a consultant on domestic life and changes throughout history for a number of International Companies. In addition to being regularly aired on radio stations; I have made a number of television appearances on everything from Sky News through to ITV’s Country House Sunday, Holiday of a Lifetime with Len Goodman , BBC4’s Castle’s Under Siege, BBC South Ration Book Britain; Pubs that Built Britain with Hairy Bikers and BBC 2’s Inside the Factory. Amongst other publications my work has been featured in Period Living Magazine, Telegraph, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Great British Food Magazine and I write regularly for a variety of print and online publications. I am very fortunate to be able to undertake work that is also my passion and never tire of researching; recreating historical recipes and researching changing domestic patterns. Feel free to visit my blog,