Published on April 6th, 2014 | by Gareth1
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.
- 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.
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