In our household, we are moving more and more towards cooking foods from scratch rather than purchasing processed pre-prepared foods. With that in mind we are starting to make our own homemade sauces, jams, preserves, relishes and mustards.
It is definitely simpler to buy it all of course but I really like knowing exactly what I am eating. These days it is getting harder and harder to determine what all those chemicals in those processed foods actually are and what they are doing to our bodies.
One recipe that the cook in the house tried recently was for Roasted Red Bell Pepper & Chili Ketchup from the Best-Ever Book of Preserves by Catherine Atkinson and Maggie Mayhew. This turned out really delicious and with a bit of a mild kick due to the addition of the chili.
Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Chilli Ketchup
- 2lbs red bell peppers
- 8oz shallots or if you can’t get them then choose a mild onion
- 1 green cooking apple
- 4 red chilies
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 sprig of parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp coriander seed
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 arrowroot
- Core the apples and chop roughly.
- Remove the seeds from the chilis and chop.
- Place the red peppers under a broiler and grill for 10 minutes or so or until the skins turn black.
- Place the peppers in a plastic bag and leave for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove the peppers from the bag and peel off the skin and remove the seeds. Chop roughly.
- Put the shallots into a bowl of water and leave for 5 minutes.
- Drain the shallots, then peel them and chop them.
- In a pan, combine the shallots, apple pieces, chilis and red peppers.
- Create a little bag of herbs using a square of cheesecloth and add the thyme, parsley, bay leaf and coriander seeds. Add the bag to the pan.
- Add the water to the pan and bring to the boil.
- Cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the herb bag and then puree the rest of the ingredients in a food processor.
- Press the mixture through a strainer and place the puree into a clean pan.
- Keep 1 tbsp of the vinegar and then add the rest to the puree.
- Add the salt and sugar to the pan.
- Stir and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for 45 minutes.
- Mix the 1 tbsp of vinegar with the arrowroot and then stir into the puree. This should help to thicken the sauce so place back on the heat and stir for a few minutes until it does thicken slightly.
- Remove from the heat and pour into sterilized bottles.
- Seal and store in a cool dark place. We store ours in the fridge.