Last stop on the summer preservation tour, ripe tomato catsup.
This is different than the red stuff you squirt on a hot dog at a picnic. It’s chunky, spicy, and oh so delicious. I’ve been making this for years, but it recently joined others in my family in making it part of tomato camp. For the past seven years, my daughters have met at their aunt’s home to have a tomato canning marathon. I joined them a couple of years ago, and it’s lots of fun but a tremendous amount of work. We canned salsa, pizza sauce, chopped tomatoes, catsup, and gallons of juice. This year’s count was 275 jars of assorted product totaling 33.3 gallons.
I didn’t get enough catsup for gift giving, so I’m making some today.
You can use any variety of red tomatoes, but I prefer Romas because they are so meaty. I bought 5 dry quarts of Romas at the Farmers’ market.
Here’s the catsup recipe
1 peck of ripe tomatoes*, peeled, seeded and ground*if you are not into the bushel/peck measurement system, 3 quart jars of peeled, seeded, chopped tomatoes is just about right.
2 tablespoons of cinnamon
6 onions, ground
2 teaspoons allspice
1 tablespoon ground hot pepper
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups vinegar
2 pounds brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
To facilitate skinning the tomatoes, drop them in boiling water for a few seconds.
The skinning is easy, but the seeding is labor intensive. It’s a lot more fun to do it with friends or family.
After the tomatoes are skinned and seeded, grind tomatoes and onions using a vintage food grinder
Don’t have a vintage food grinder? a food processor will work just fine. Be sure not to process too much, you want the finished product to be chunky. You may want to grind the onions and tomatoes separately as they will process differently.
Drain ground tomatoes and onions for about an hour, then mix in other ingredients. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer at least 40 minutes until thick. This recipe will make about 7-8 pints
No need to use a pressure or water bath canner, just fill clean hot jars with the catsup, screw on the two part lid and wait for the ping that indicates the jar has sealed. Patti Wagon describes the process here. She’s making salsa, but the process is the same for the catsup.
Ready! I found some 4 oz. jars; just perfect for a sample.
How do I use the catsup?
On home grilled hamburgers, my favorite way!
Meatloaf. Make this humble entree sing by adding a dollop of catsup to each serving. Tom’s favorite way! Hmm. need to make some meatloaf for him
Pour over a block of softened cream cheese when you need take an hors d’oeuvre to a party. The hostess would love to have a jar as a gift.