Heinz has totally spoiled me. When Erin asked if I'd be interested in starting up this new "Sauced" column, I started racking my brain about what condiment to tackle first. I could think of nothing more fitting, more ubiquitous, than ketchup. You hardly ever stop to think about what goes into making ketchup. Usually, a bottle of Heinz is just hanging out in the fridge and, well, it tastes exactly the way it should.
So I started this recipe from the ground up, reading ingredient labels on common ketchups, tasting them, and researching the process of making it. The fruits of this labor was something simple to make and tasted great.
While nothing will replace a flavor so ingrained in our psyches as Heinz, this ketchup had its own appeal. It was brighter and fresher than bottled ketchup, with a natural tomato flavor that had just enough spice to clearly define itself as ketchup over any other tomato sauce. The wife and I enjoyed a plate of fries with this ketchup, alongside another dish with Heinz. We happily went back and forth between the two, appreciating each for its own uniqueness.
- Active time: 1 - 1 1/2 hours
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped medium
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 28-oz can tomato purée
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add in the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Add in the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomato purée, brown sugar, vinegar, tomato paste, salt, mustard, cloves, allspice, and cayenne pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened to the consistency of ketchup, 45 to 60 minutes.
Place ketchup in the jar of a blender and purée until completely smooth.
Wash and dry saucepan, then place a fine mesh strainer over top. Pour ketchup in the strainer and, using a spatula, force through all of the ketchup.
Taste ketchup and adjust seasonings if necessary. Pour ketchup into a jar, seal, and store in the refrigerator for 3 weeks up to a month.