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Old Fashioned Ketchup


  • 6 pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small purple onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried chervil or parsley
  • 1 1/2 cup malt vinegar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2T packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 T salt
  • dash white pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick, halved
  • 1/2 nutmeg (tap carefully with a hammer)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp dried chile flakes
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds

Place the tomatoes, onion, and chervil or parsley in a 4 to 5 quart pot. Bring them to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the tomatoes are softened--20 to 25 minutes. Press the tomato mixture through a fine sieve, pressing hard on the solids with the back of a broad wooden spoon to release the puree. Return the puree to the pot and discard the solids. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and white pepper to the puree. Tie the remaining ingredients in several layers of cheesecloth, and add them to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook 2 to 2 1/2 hours, uncovered. As it cooks, periodically remove the froth that rises and stir down the sides. When the mixture is very thick, remove the tied spices. Ladle the ketchup into a jar. Allow it to cool, and refrigerate. Keeps indefinitely.

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