Fresh Ketchup

by leah

My husband loves steak. He loves pan sauce with it. I also love steak but I find that a meat-juice based gravy to be too rich. I like a well marbled steak and I needed something jumpier to temper the fat, and mustard alone, proverbially, didn’t seem to cut it. I am also far too snobby for ordinary ketchup alone (actually that’s a lie, I love ketchup but I do have to keep up appearances)

I also like to serve steak with salad and I find that a warm gravy makes a horrid mush of any lettuce on the plate. So discovering this sauce was like discovering the perfect pair of jeans. It’s tight, simple, a little tart, versatile and classic. A fantastic summer grilled meat accompaniment. Kudos to my kitchen idol, Gordon Ramsay, for introducing me to this little pearler.

I’ve given approximate amounts. Just keep tasting and adding small amounts of everything ’til it tastes right.

Makes enough for 3-4 servings

  • 3-4 Ripe roma tomatoes, de-seeded and sliced into long strips
  • 1 large shallot, very finely sliced
  • A few sprigs of tarragon (also good: basil, parsley, sorrel, marjoram)
  • A squirt of ketchup
  • A slog of Worcestershire
  • A spoon of dijon or grainy mustard
  • A splash of balsamic vinegar
  • A squeeze of lemon
  • Salt & Pepper

Mix it all together. Taste. Add a bit more ketchup and possibly lemon juice (the likeliest additions) and leave to macerate for at least 1/2 hour before serving. Serve with any grilled meat, particularly of the red persuasion.