I am, overall, not a fan of standard tomato ketchup. Tomatoes, I love. Ketchup? Not so much. It’s too sweet for me and tastes nothing like the juicy summer tomatoes I adore. I found this recipe for a roasted red pepper ketchup that is so far superior to store bought ketchup that it almost needs a new name. It is full of tomato flavor, but also spicy. I canned a bunch of it and we have used it on pork chops, beef, hamburgers and potatoes. It is awesome. Is it obsessive to make my own ketchup? Maybe. Will you become obessive after you try it? Most likely. Yes, it’s that good.
This recipe is derived from Put ‘Em Up by Sherri Brooks Vinton.
Roasted Pepper Ketchup (about 4 cups)
- 2 pounds tomatoes
- 2 pounds red bell peppers
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 1 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- Prepare an ice-water bath in a large bowl or clean sink.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop the tomatoes into the water, no more than 1 pound at a time, and return to a boil. Blanch for 1 minute.
- Scoop the tomatoes out of the water with a spider or slotted spoon and plunge them into the ice-water bath. Continue blanching the tomatoes in batches. Remove from the ice bath and drain. Peel, core, and crush the tomatoes.
- Heat a grill. Coat the red peppers lightly in olive oil and put on the grill on medium heat. Let peppers char and turn every few minutes so all the sides of the peppers are charred and blistered.
- Remove peppers from the grill and put in a large paper bag (a grocery bag works well). Close the top of the bag and let peppers sit for about 10 minutes.
- Remove peppers from the bag and let cool. Slip the skins off the peppers, remove the stems and seeds. Roughly chop the peppers.
- Combine the tomato pulp, peppers, onion, vinegar, brown sugar, salt, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves in a large nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Remove from the heat and puree with a stick blender.
- Return the puree to the heat and simmer over low heat until thickened, about 2 hours.
- Remove from the heat.
- Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or can using a boiling water bath.
- To can, ladle into clean, hot 4-ounce or half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Release trapped air. Wipe the rims clean; center lids on the jars and screw on jar bands. Process for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, remove canner lid, and let jars rest in the water for 5 minutes. Remove jars and set aside for 24 hours. Check seals, then store in a cool, dark plance for up to 1 year.