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;

The Foods of Fancy

The Perfect Pie