Back in March I was on a mission! I needed to replenish my larder with all things tomato! Fortunately I was able to source locally grown tomatoes, as my tomato crop, while consistent this year, was not abundant. So with 50 kg of tomatoes in the kitchen, it was time to get to work.
Right at the top of the list was my homemade tomato sauce, also known as ketchup to many, but here in Australia, it’s tomato sauce. This sauce is so popular, that I always need to ensure that I make enough not only for us, but for the greater family, and also friends. In fact last year, our son, Christopher, Gary and I made the sauce, bottling it up in little bottles, as part of the bonbonniere for Chrisotpher and Olivia’s wedding. It was such fun working with him and his dad to produce this little treat for their guests to take home.
A fantastic condiment, this sauce is fabulous with grilled sausages and meats, as well as cold leftover roasted meats, and pies, pasties, sausage rolls etc. In fact my sister, Sonnie, even loves it on fried eggs, and for me, it is a must on scrambled eggs. Actually this is the only tomato sauce we knew when we were growing up! However, back then it was always made with an additive called Ezi-Sauce that contained all the spices etc. Me being me, I wanted to make the sauce with my own blend of spices rather than a commercially prepared additive. Below is the recipe that I developed some years ago, and we all love it!
- 3 kg ripe tomatoes
- 500 g brown onions peeled
- 300 g cooking apples cored
- 35 g garlic peeled
- 1 heaped tsp ground ginger mixed to a paste with a little water
- 1/2 tsp ground black peppercorns
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 1/2 cups cider vinegar
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tbsp salt
Roughly chop tomatoes, apples, onions and garlic.
Place into a large saucepan with the ginger paste.
Slowly bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring regularly until the juices form.
Boil gently for four (4) hours, stirring occasionally.
Strain through a course sieve or sauce strainer (epepineuse/mouli). Discard the skin and seeds.
Return the puree to a large, clean pan.
Blend the spices and sugar together and add to the puree together with the salt and cider vinegar.
Bring to the boil, and boil gently for approximately one hour, or until the sauce has reached a thick pouring consistency.
Fill into warm sterilised bottles and seal.
When cool, lable and store in a dark, cool place.
The sauce will keep for one year unopened.
As I mentioned, I purchased 50kg of tomatoes, so also made tomato relish, and bottled /canned tomato puree/passata and diced tomatoes. With the excess tomatoes from the garden there is also whole Roma tomatoes in tomato puree, and a mix of heritage tomatoes as well.
While preparing the tomatoes for each dish, I cut them in half and squeezed out the seeds, dropping them into a strainer, so that I could retain the juice to add to the pan when cooking the tomatoes. There was a method in my madness… I did not want all those seeds in my compost, and I had a plan for the waste left behind after the tomatoes had been put through the strainer, and my plan excluded the seeds.
The bi-product from the sauce and puree was placed into baking dishes together with the peel removed from other tomatoes that were being preserved/canned or turned into relish. This was then popped into the oven which had been set to a medium/low heat, and left to dry out a little. Once done, I then scraped the tomato leftovers into a high powered food processor, and processed them at high speed, resulting in a generous quantity of no-waste tomato paste that has been frozen down ready to add richness to various sauces when required.
I’ve already used one or two bottles of the tomatoes, in tomato soup and a chicken dish.
Until next time
Happy preserving/canning and bon appétit!
- Braised Chicken with White Wine and Tomatoes
- Homemade Tomato Sauce
- Roasted Tomato Soup with Sour Cream & Pesto