Monthly Archives: June 2024

Make Your Own Artisanal Ketchup

Whether you call it Ketchup, or Catsup, this sweet and tangy condiment has become a culinary staple, and has found its way onto nearly every condiment stand from casual family restaurants, to fast food franchises, mall food courts, in ball parks and of course, in every grocery store from coast to coast.

And you can bet, that it’s also in nearly every pantry or fridge in America.

Yet, unlike many dishes that we enjoy while dining out, while also making our own versions of it in our kitchens, ketchup, (and we can say the same for mustard), is one food/condiment, that Chefs rarely make.

There are a couple of good reasons for this.

  1. Some Chefs, / kitchens, go through a lot of it. Not only as a straight up condiment, but as an ingredient in other recipes.
  2. Seriously, it’s hard to beat Heinz as a recognized brand, although many manufactures have created some pretty tasty ketchups of their own.
  3. Time, as in labor.

All that said, there is something to be said for the growing trend for authentic, Artisanal food products made by talented Chefs.

An example of this is Charcuterie, and quite often, Chefs go even one step further, by serving them with house made chutneys, jams or mustards.

An Artisanal ketchup might be looked at in that same way, and perhaps something offered only for signature grilled burgers.

Making your own ketchup gives you the opportunity for real bragging rights, if done well, and something which can showcase your individuality as much as any other signature dish on your menu.

Start small.

There are a number of opportunities for creative expression when making your own ketchup. They include:

  • Using fresh ripe tomatoes vs / tomato paste (or both)

  • Choice of sweeteners (Cane sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup or honey)
  • Choice of vinegar (typically cider or distilled)
  • Spices (onion and garlic are standard, celery salt creeps into some recipes and many “copy-cat” Heinz recipes include clove, allspice, cinnamon, ground mustard and cayenne pepper.
  • Thickeners, which range from none, to xanthan gum, cornstarch and Clear Jel.
  • And finally, the fineness of the finished puree.

As a result of all of these wonderful expressive options, the best course chosen by many Chefs, is to start with many small batches, get opinions, then scale up the recipe that they like the best.

To that end, we’ll offer here, a basic recipe for you to begin with and suggestions as to the additional spices you can add to make your perfect ketchup.


  • This recipe uses tomato paste, this basic recipe was chosen to address the need of Chefs to minimize their labor and also, because making ketchup from fresh tomatoes requires a very ripe (fresh) tomato which make preparing a larger batch increasingly problematic on a regular basis. It also requires passing the cooked tomatoes through a food mill or grinder to omit seeds and pulp.
  • Depending on how long you cook / reduce your ketchup recipe, it may be entirely unnecessary to add a thickener. As thickeners go, the better alternative, once the product has cooled, is xanthan gum, if needed. We have therefore not included an amount in our recipe.

Basic Ketchup Recipe

Makes about 3 cups


1 ½ cup            Tomato Paste

1 cup                 Light Corn Syrup or Honey (or a mixture)

1 Cup                Vinegar (cider, distilled or a mixture)

½  cup               Water

2 TBSP             Light Brown Sugar

2 TBSP             Kosher or Sea Salt

½ tsp                 Onion Powder

¼ tsp                 Garlic Powder


½ tsp                 Celery Seed or Celery Salt (halve the above amount of Kosher Salt if Celery Salt is used.

½ tsp                 Ground Mustard

1/8 tsp               Ground Cloves

1/8 tsp               Ground Allspice

1/8 tsp               Cayenne Pepper

As Needed       Thickener (See Options)



  1. Into a medium sauce pan set over medium heat, add all of the ingredients.
  2. Stir or whisk until all ingredients are well incorporated and the mixture looks smooth.
  3. Once the ketchup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and stir often.
  4. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes, being careful to not let it scorch. Red Goose sells an amazing Scorch Shield which is VERY helpful.
  5. Once cooked and reduced, remove from the heat, cover and allow to cool.
  6. If thickening is needed, the last step is sprinkling a little in at a time while vigorously whisking in or while in a blender or food processor, until you get your desired thickness.
  7. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 4 months.

Making Artisanal ketchup can be a very rewarding endeavor, and one that can truly differentiate your cuisine and impress your guests.

Make Your OWN Prepared Mustard!

Prepared mustard.

It’s in nearly every fridge or pantry in the modern world and used in, or on, thousands of dishes ranging from the classic and iconic, to today’s contemporary recipes.

The list is simply exhausting!

Salad dressings, sauces, deviled eggs, potato salad, beef, lamb, pork, seafood, and of course, on our beloved hot dogs.

Yet as ubiquitous as prepared mustard around the world, it’s a recipe rarely made in our homes, or, in professional kitchens?

Why is that?

Because it’s beyond simple to make.

Mustard surely gets enough love otherwise. In fact, there are numerous festivals all around the world extolling mustard’s culinary virtues.

From Napa Valley, California to Berlin, Germany, mustard festivals are held each year and feature famous dozens of contests.

Famous Chefs at these events offer demonstrations, and there are numerous opportunities to feast on fabulous dishes using mustard in every imaginable way.

How is prepared mustard made?

Let’s look at how a prepared mustard recipe is made. Maybe, along the way, you’ll discover that it’s something you’d really enjoy making in your kitchen.

“House” prepared mustard is a pretty impressive (and very simple) way to add a distinctive and artisanal flair to your menus.

The basic ingredients needed to make mustard can be as simple as mustard and a liquid. The method however, can done in one of 2 ways.

  • Soak the whole seeds in the liquid, then blend or grind the mustard seeds into a paste. Or,
  • Grind the seeds to the desired fineness BEFORE adding your liquids. The additional grinding afterwards isn’t necessary.

Chemistry in action.

There’s a lot of chemical stuff going on when you make mustard.

The “heat, or bite” that comes from prepared mustard is within the seeds, and then it reacts with the liquids. So, breaking the seeds open is a part of the process.

It’s already been done for you with powdered mustard but it’s something you must do if you’re also using whole seeds.

Spicy or mild?

Temperature “heat”, (even hot water) negates much of the chemical reaction that give you the “spicey heat” component in prepared mustards.

If you want a mustard with more of a “bite” you should use cold water.

Warm water also works, but gives you more of a “mild” mustard reaction and flavor.

Using water alone, generally only gives you a few days (or less) of great mustard flavor. This can, (and should) be “stabilized”, by adding an acid (such as vinegar, lemon juice or horseradish) and some salt.

It also gives you that traditional taste, that most people love and accept.

Which seeds?

Three seeds used to make mustards, they are: white, brown and black.

The white mustard plant, actually makes the mustard seeds that we call yellow, and they make a very pale-yellow powder, not the bright yellow you see in the bottle. They also make a rather mild mustard while, brown and black mustard, are a bit more “robust” in flavor.

The yellow “salad” mustard you see in your grocery store is typically made with the yellow seeds from the white mustard plant with turmeric spice added for color.

The ingredient statement on a bottle of Heinz mustard reads: DISTILLED WHITE VINEGAR, MUSTARD SEED, WATER, SALT, TURMERIC, NATURAL FLAVOR AND SPICES.

Brown mustard seeds are found in many premium prepared mustards including the popular Grey Poupon brand.

Black mustard seeds (called rai) are the most pungent and the least common seed to be found in American mustards but they are popular in Southern Indian cuisines.

Many people who enjoy making prepared mustards for their kitchen prefer to use at least 2 mustard seed varieties to create a more “complex” flavor.

A common combination is a hand or machine ground, brown seed, with a white (or yellow mustard powder added as a base).

Making your prepared mustard.

Since making a prepared mustard is rather easy, try making a batch using this recipe. We think you’ll agree that adding your own house-made mustard to your culinary repertoire might just plant the “seed” for many great recipe ideas.

We’ll use method number 2 with brown mustard seeds and yellow mustard powder.

Simple Prepared Mustard

Makes about 2 cups

½  cup brown mustard seeds

1  cup ground yellow mustard powder

1 tablespoon salt

2 tsp ground turmeric (optional)

2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar (optional)

1  cup cold water

¼ Cup + 1 tablespoon apple cider or white wine vinegar

  1. Grind the whole mustard seeds for a few seconds in a spice grinder, or by hand with a mortar and pestle. Leave the seeds only coarsely ground to give the final prepared mustard some whole seed identity.
  2. Add the ground seeds into a non-reactive (Stainless steel or glass) mixing bowl and add the salt and mustard powder. If you choose to add the turmeric and sweetener, add that as well.
  3. Pour in the water, then mix together well. When everything is incorporated, let this rest for at least 15 minutes, then add the vinegar.
  4. Pour into a glass or plastic container and store in the fridge.
  5. Your mustard will initially seem thin, but fear not, as the liquids are absorbed by the mustard, it will thicken up in a day’s time.

Perhaps the hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the mustard to fully mature, which takes at least 2 days.

You’ll be tempted to taste it right away, even the next day, but fair warning, you’ll likely be disappointed because it will taste a bit bitter as the vinegar will just be beginning its to do its transformational “mellowing”.

Having said that, if it’s your first go at it, give it a try right away, and then a few days later. You’ll definitely notice the difference!

Once you’ve made your first batch, you may want to make some tweaks to suit your own personal tastes, or to fit a particular menu item you’ve created.

Among the things you can “experiment with” are:
  • Changing the mustard seeds to powder ratio.
  • Using beer or white wine as all or part of the water
  • Changing the sweetener
  • Adding some “heat”…chopped chiles or horseradish.
  • Adding chopped herbs (tarragon is a very popular option)

Your finished mustard, if stored properly under refrigeration, can last up to a year. Even longer if you process it as you would any canning technique.

Of course, you’ll want to use a great source for your mustard seeds which is why so many Chefs buy their mustard seeds from the Red Goose Spice Company.

If your goal is to eventually make larger batches of mustard, we sell our mustard seeds in any size quantity that suits your seed needs.Prepared