Preserves spicy smoky tomato ketchup

Published on April 6th, 2014 | by Gareth


Spicy, smoky tomato ketchup

The mornings are drawing in, there’s a welcome cool breeze and the London Plane tree outside the apartment window is starting to look naked. Sydney even had a little fog this week. Winter approaches.

Perhaps it’s my Anglo disposition, but I miss autumn in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s a bizarre thing, most Brits dream of living in Australia, lapping up the suns eternal warmth. Clearly I am bonkers. But 15 years after leaving the flinty skies of Britain, I find myself missing the damp afternoon mist that smells of wet leaves with a hint of wood smoke, the vibrant coloured forest leaves, wearing a big coat and woolly scarf and sitting by a roaring log fire in a pub with a decent pint. This is probably why I welcome this time of year in Sydney.

Of course with the changing of the season, comes a hankering for warm hearty, substantial food…..and making soups, pickles and sauces to accompany. I’m starting with making a batch of spicy, smoky tomato ketchup.

The sauce is pretty straightforward and goes fantastically with with scrambled eggs or even better, a bacon and egg sandwich with fresh crusty doorstep slices of bread. It’s not the healthiest start to the day, but once in a while it’s a welcome treat.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Equipment: Large saucepan, baking tray, chopping board, knife, sterilised jars or bottles.

Spicy tomato ketchup on bacon sandwich with old knife

What a great start to a weekend day


  • 1 kg ripe tomatoes – deseeded and halved
  • 2 red chilli peppers – finely chopped
  • 2 red capsicums (peppers)
  • 1 large onion – peeled and finely sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 heaped tbsp. soft brown sugar
  • 200ml red wine vinegar (malt or cider vinegar will also work)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil


  • Bake the capsicums whole along with the tomatoes for 1 hour at 180 degrees.
  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and cook the onion over a low heat for 20 minutes. To prevent them burning you may need to add a little water or some extra olive oil and stir.
  • Once the pepper has cooled enough to handle, scrape the burn skin off and remove the seeds and stalk. Where possible remove the tomato skins as well.
  • Stir in the garlic and chilli with the onion. Cook for a further 4-5 minutes, again do not allow it to burn.
  • Add the tomatoes, pepper, sugar, bay leaf and paprika and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaf and blend the sauce to a fine puree. Return to the saucepan with the bay leaf, add the vinegar and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Allow to cool, remove the bay leaf then pour the sauce into sterilised jars.
Spicy smoky tomato ketchup on bacon and egg sandwich

Runny egg

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About the Author

Englishman in Sydney loves a whisky, pies and all things savoury. Digital Marketer by day, cook the rest of the time. Amateur writer, photographer & aspiring anthropologists.

One Response to Spicy, smoky tomato ketchup

  1. Pingback: Curried pumpkin and chickpea burger | Humble Crumble

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