Up The Mountain Spicy Tomato Ketchup

Getting Saucy In The Garden

When you have lots of tomatoes growing, or you can buy them cheaply, it´s fun to play around with recipes and see what you can come up with.  An excellent book for anyone interested in growing their own (or who just dreams about doing it) and cooking with the “bounty” is The River Cottage Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

One of his recipes that I´ve played around with over the years is the one he gives for tomato ketchup.  The beauty of it is that you can adjust spices and flavourings to suit what you and your loved ones enjoy.  I like my ketchup spicy, so I go heavy on the chili.  Some of the things he mentions in his recipe I don´t always have to hand (like mace or celery seeds) so I have changed things round just a little.

This is the Up the Mountain version, and I can highly recommend it.

3kg ripe tomatoes roughly chopped

3 sliced onions

1 large red pepper, chopped

¼ cup of celery leaves

100g brown sugar

200ml white wine vinegar (he uses cider vinegar)

¼ teaspoon of mustard powder

A stick of cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoons of allspice

1 ½ teaspoons whole cloves

2 teaspoons black peppercorns

Some freshly grated nutmeg

4 small hot chilis, roughly chopped

1 bay leaf

1 large garlic clove, peeled and crushed

1 teaspoon of hot smoked pimentón (or paprika)

Sea salt to taste

You´ll need a very sturdy heavy based saucepan for this as you´ll be reducing and reducing the sauce until it gets to the right consistency.

Put tomatoes, onions, peppers, chillis and celery leaves into the pot and simmer until very soft.  Put through a mouli or fine sieve and then back into the pot with the sugar, mustard powder and vinegar.  Put the remaining spices apart from the salt, nutmeg and pimentón into a cloth and tie securely then drop this into the mixture.  Grate a little nutmeg over and if you want more later you can add it nearer the end. 

Cook the sauce slowly until it has reduced to the thickness you require.  If you like you can give it a whizz with the hand blender (don´t forget to remove the spice bag first though!), then season with the salt and pimentón.  You can either put it into sterilised bottles or jars (I use the small juice bottles we get here in Spain) or it will keep well in the fridge for a month or you can freeze it.

Delicious with chips (or French fries for my US pals), burgers, fish, veggies…well, pretty much anything in fact!  And mixed with mayonnaise it makes a wonderful Marie Rose style sauce with a bit of a kick.

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55 thoughts on “Up The Mountain Spicy Tomato Ketchup

  1. That sounds fantastic and I’ve got the book, though your sexy (hot) version sounds like salsa brava – something I always ask friends to bring me back from Spain.

    1. Well, if we´re talking Heinz, that was/is American wasn´t it?! Love it – we have another Salsa Americana! Actually here they call it ketchup and pronounce is Kechoooop 🙂

  2. I was just looking for a recipe for a British sauce recipe, I forget the name… but it had brown sugar and a lot of this, is this anything like a bottled ketchup/sauce that the British like, very popular, seems it has two letter in its name….RaeDi

    1. You mean the totally delicious HP Sauce…named after the Houses of Parliament. Dark brown, sweet, sour, tangy….we love it! Have never thought to try and make a version – they make a big deal of their “secret recipe”. Now you´ve made me want to try to make it too!

      1. In common with computers, ketchup like so many items is not an american ‘invention’ it entered the English language from the Malay word kicap (pron. “kichap”, also spelled kecap, ketjap), originally meaning “fish sauce; a more tenuous claim comes from the chinese !! HP sauce factory in Birmingham.england. was closed weeks after heinz took over the business in 2005 the stuff is now made in Holland.
        The three hours of summer sunshine here has failed to ripen my first attempt at outdoor tomatoes – receipe for green tomato chutney in your collection???

      2. Wow – this is great, thanks for the info…never knew this! Knew that our beloved HP sauce was now made in Holland (shame). Recipe for Green Tomato Chutney coming up soon!

    2. Thanks you for all the information. Yes I have been Googling and everything for the HP Sauce, I have heard it is out of this world and wanted to try some. So I thought I would just make me some and there are so many recipes that it is hard to choose… But Tanya if anyone could figure it out it would be you! I wonder do you need a dare? No, but if you do come up with it, I would not know since I have not had the sauce! but I would love the recipe, it sounds so good! Holland you say? I have heard about this sauce over and over again, but I will give this ketchup a go, it sure sounds good….RaeDi

      1. I´ve been googling too – I think I´m up for it, but it may take a few tries! Will let you know how the “experimentation” goes! (You little rascal…can´t resist a cooking challenge)

  3. What a coincidence! Yesterday a friend asked if I had ever considered making ketchup and I replied that I needed a good recipe. Voila! Chica Andaluza to the rescue! I still don’t know if I’ll make it but at least now I have a good recipe. Thanks, Tanya!

  4. What a great idea – thanks for this recipe, I think I’ll try it now that we have enough jars of concentrate already stored for the winter. I’ll probably make it less hot than you do as I like paprika but not chilli-hot flavours.

  5. There’s something about making food from scratch that I always feel so proud of and confident that I know exactly what was put into it. I had attempted ketchup at one time but wasn’t happy with the result. This sounds like a winner to me and I like the tip about making a Marie Rose sauce.

    1. Aah – thanks! Most Spanish ketchup is really vinegary unless you buy Heinz (gosh they should be paying me today for advertising their name!) but this one is a more “grown up” ketchup I think.

    1. Yes – you´re like me, you like your chilies! Go steady for a few days, you must be feeling pretty fragile still. Have a restul weekend and hopefull by next week your body and my tehnical problems will be resolved!

  6. I’m always interested in ketchup recipes (probably because I find anything purchased from the store so unsatisfying). Definitely bookmarking this one to make sooner rather than later. Thx for sharing!

  7. My traveling companion Chgo John made me a batch and it is honestly the best ever. I recently posted “Will work for Ketchup” on his Facebook page. I’ve enjoyed many of his recipes over the years but this one takes an everyday condiment (at least to us Americans) to new and unprecedented heights.

    1. I am so pleased that he made it and you enjoyed it! It´s different from regular ketchup, but pretty special (at least, I think so!). Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and comment.

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