I have been preserving tomatoes this week. Not my tomatoes, my father’s, so I have given this post his name for tomato sauce. My dad always used to call tomato sauce dead horse – I suspect he’s not alone in this, its the sort of thing dads seem to find endlessly entertaining, especially when they have teenage children. I haven’t heard him call it that recently so perhaps you have to have teenage children to roll their eyes at you to find rhyming slang entertaining…
I haven’t really had enough of my own tomatoes to do anything other than eat them and make the occasional pasta sauce, so I am grateful for any donations. This particular donation was of too many tomatoes to eat but not really enough to make many bottles of passata so instead I decided to make a batch of tomato sauce – sauce as in ketchup. The recipe I use is based on a recipe from Stephanie Alexander’s Cooks Companion, but I have given it a few tweaks.
Tomato Sauce, makes about 2 litres
- 1/2 tbspn cloves**
- 1 tbspn black peppercorns
- 1/2 tspn ground allspice (pimento)
- 1 tbspn ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 5 kg tomatoes – chopped
- 30g salt
- 600ml apple cider vinegar
- 1 kg sugar
Tie the whole spices into a piece of muslin. Place them and the rest of the ingredients, except sugar into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar and bring back to the boil. Simmer for another hour*. Remove the bag with the whole spices in it. Give it a quick whizz with a hand held food processor. (I do this last step to break down any large lumps of skin etc, you could use a mouli instead to remove the skin altogether). Bottle in sterilised bottles and seal (I use a funnel to pour it into the bottles). Leave for 6 weeks before opening.
*I have made this recipe a couple of different ways before. This is version I made the last time I did it. If you want a fresher tasting sauce you could reduce both the pre and post sugar cooking times by half. If you prefer the really concentrated tomato flavour you find in commercial ketchup then cook it for another half to full hour more than I have indicated here. My preference is for in between hence the 1 hour cooking time.
** I originally published this recipe with 1 tblspn of cloves which does produce a clovey tasting sauce. I think that half the amount will probably suit more people’s palates and so have reduced it accordingly. If you love cloves in your sauce then a whole tblspn gives you a fairly clovey tasting sauce.
This sauce is a nice home made version of tomato ketchup so I eat it: on sausages, in rice dishes, stir fries, on burgers, the list is endless, particularly if you are under the age of 10 I find…
For other ways to cook and preserve your harvest head over to the Gardener of Eden’s place.