Sunday, 18 March 2012

Tomato-less Sauce

If you have followed the blog over the last month or so you might have picked up on the fact that I have recently moved! And as well as having a new house I have a new house mate. Luckily we both share a love of all things ‘kitchen’ and are embarking on a joint journey of Rayburn baking experiments as we adjust to using an oil fired oven for the first time. But as well as becoming a baking compadre my new house mate has opened up a whole new avenue of ‘something missing’ recipes for me to experiment with because I am now living with someone who is allergic to tomatoes!

I find it nearly impossible to contemplate life without the wonders of the tomato. There is always a half squeezed tube of tomato puree lurking in my fridge, which I regard as an essential ingredient for most stews and sauces. And how I would have survived my student days without value tins of chopped tomatoes I just do not know! But apparently a tomato allergy isn’t that uncommon, possibly because these juicy little red delights are members of the nightshade family!

This discovery immediately made me set to work to create an alternative for one the other tomato products which I am never to be found without….tomato ketchup. To be honest the result of this experiment more closely resembles a spicy brown sauce than a traditional tomato sauce, but it still tastes great in a bacon butty and contains at least 3 of your 5 a day so isn’t a bad substitute for the red stuff!!


½ red onion – finely chopped
1 clove of garlic - crushed
2 medium carrots – grated
1 medium bramley apple – peeled, cored and chopped into medium chunks
1 420g tin of apricot halves in syrup
50ml white wine vinegar
50ml balsamic vinegar
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon black pepper corns
¼ teaspoon of allspice
¼ teaspoon of mace
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar

Put the onion, garlic, carrot, apple and drained apricots into a large saucepan.

Add enough water to the syrup from the tin of apricots to make 1 cup or 240ml of liquid and add to the saucepan. Place the saucepan over a medium heat, bring to a simmer and cook all of the ingredients for 15 to 20 minutes until tender.

Meanwhile add both vinegars with the remaining spices to a smaller saucepan and simmer, again for about 15 to 20 minutes until slightly reduced.

Once cooked place the vegetable mixture from the larger saucepan into a liquidiser and blitz until fully combined and smooth.

Now add the contents from the vinegar saucepan to the vegetable mix and pass the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the bay leaves and pepper corns as well as any larger lumps from the vegetable mix.

Return the sieved mixture to a large saucepan, add the sugar and simmer quite rapidly for at least 30 minutes (although this stage could take quite a bit longer depending on the water content of your original vegetable mixture) until the mixture has reduced to a thick, sticky, ketchup like consistency.

Allow to cool and store in a sealable container in the fridge, this should keep for at least a week.

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