February 17, 2010

Chipotle Ketchup

Catsup spiced with chipotles in adobo
Ketchup spiced with Chipotles makes a better burger

I want to make meatloaf, and for me a meatloaf has a bacon wrapping and a ketchup glaze. I could buy the bacon and ketchup, I suppose, but really, where's the fun in that?

Chipotle Ketchup

1 onion, chopped
1½ tablespoons oil from garlic confit or extra-virgin olive oil
Put the onion and oil into a deep saucepan and caramelize the onions slightly over medium heat. While the onions are cooking proceed to the next step.
1-28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes or the same weight of other canned, skinless tomatoes
Using a food processor, food mill, or blender (if you must) purée the tomatoes. Reserve a small amount of the liquid. When the onions are caramelized to your satisfaction, purée them with the reserved tomato purée. I haven't tried this with fresh tomatoes yet, it's 6 months too early for good tomatoes here in the Pacific Northwest.
1½ tablespoons blackstrap molasses
¼-½ cup granulated sugar
If you don't have molasses, but do have brown sugar, just use brown sugar. I suggest starting with ¼ cup in any case, because you'll want to adjust the balance later after adding vinegar. Mix the sweeteners and purées in the saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes while you prepare the spices. Stir frequently.
1 whole star anise
1 stick cinnamon
1 bay leaf
5 whole allspice berries
5 whole cloves
12 peppercorns (optional)
Tie the spices into a piece of cheesecloth or put them into a spice ball, then add to the saucepan. Simmer about 20 minutes stirring frequently, until you're satisfied with the level of flavor from the spices, then continue.
¼ cup apple cider vinegar (champagne vinegar works nicely as well)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon fleur de sel (any decent salt works nicely, maybe tried a smoked salt if you have one)
½ chipotle in adobo, puréed with some of the ketchup
You'll be adding more vinegar, and you might want to start with less chipotle, depending on your preferences. In any case, mix everything together and simmer another 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Now comes the fun part. Taste it. If it's too vinegary or too hot, add sugar. If it's too sweet, add vinegar. The flavor will intensify as it continues to cook, but the balance will remain the same. Once you're satisfied with the flavor, reduce the heat and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the ketchup thickens to your satisfaction. It should be thinner than the commercial stuff, and you'll need to take care not to burn it, but you can make it just as thick as you dare.

When you're satisfied, remove from the heat and let cool. It will continue to thicken somewhat. When it's cooled to about room temperature, pour into a sterilized jar, seal, and refrigerate overnight. It will keep in the refrigerator 2-3 months, I imagine. Nothing ever sits around that long when it tastes as good as this stuff does so I can't say for sure.


  1. This sounds divine...especially with meatloaf! I love meatloaf! Will have to try the next time I make meatloaf!

  2. I love anything chipotle. I can't wait to try this!

  3. Something this good seems wrong to be called "ketchup"---so much better than the bottled version!

  4. We make our own chipotle every year (jalapenos from the garden, 10-12 hours in an apple-wood-fired smoker, canned in adobo right in our kitchen. I can't wait to make this to have around instead of store-bought stuff.

  5. Oh man, now I'm going to have to make my own chipotles too. Do you have a post on chipotles in adobo on your blog?

  6. Impressive!! Wow!!! I have recently discovered chipotles in adobo - and I am in love :-) This sounds absolutely wonderful.

  7. Man oh man what a super recipe. Never heard of anyone making home made ketchup, well not of this caliber anyway.

  8. Homemade ....dips, chutney, anything homemade is lovely...always!! but ketchup...that is a must try...!! pix looks tempting!!

  9. I've heard others suggest one ought to try making ketchup...this version might be just the nudge I needed!

    1. Give it a try, you'll be glad you did. It looks more difficult than it is, and the result is well worth the small amount of time.