Recipe: BBQ-ready Cajun ketchup

PUBLISHED: 13:39 18 June 2018

Cajun ketchup by Andy McLeish

Cajun ketchup by Andy McLeish

Archant

This recipe is Andy’s home-made Cajun ketchup, the ultimate sauce for your meats when barbecuing. Enjoy!

Barbecue season is finally here and in true British style, come rain or shine you’ll find us in our gardens firing up the grill and sizzling some sausages

It’s an all too-familiar scenario: the weather report looks promising, it’s been warm for a few days, so we assume it’s safe to invite our friends and family over for some al fresco dining.

Then, without fail, on the day of the proposed barbecue, you look out of your window only to be greeted by grey skies, a few hours later it’s pouring down – but when has that ever stopped us Brits?

For some reason, food just seems to taste better when grilled. The smoke adds a whole new flavour profile to the meat, vegetables and even fruit, and for me this taste just can’t be beaten.

So it’s no wonder we make such a big deal about barbecues when we see a tiny hint of rays peering through the clouds here in the UK.

Cooking food on the grill is quite simple but easy mistakes can be made, which can really affect the overall taste.

If you want to get your barbecue right, every single time, follow my ‘top tips’ in the recipe columnn below.

Ingredients

2kg fresh ripe tomatoes (roughly chopped)

500g Diced onions

500g Bramley apples (grated with skin left on)

500g Cider vinegar

50g Maldon sea salt

50g smoked paprika

50g Cajun spice

500g dark muscovado sugar

Method

Take a medium-sized pan and add all the ingredients together except the sugar. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for one hour. Remove from the heat and blend in a food processor until smooth. Pass the mix through a fine sieve then place into a pan and add the muscovado sugar. Gently bring the mix back to the boil, stirring occasionally and cook for a further 10 minutes

The ketchup can be used now or stored in sealed jars for three to four weeks in the fridge

I use this ketchup in many different ways. My favourite is to add to barbecued meats. Ten minutes before end of cooking,

I generously baste the meat with the ketchup and let it slowly caramelise over the embers, with a beer in my hand.

Top tips

Before cooking, clean your grill

Massage a salt rub into your meat the day before barbecuing

Buy your meat from a local butcher – the higher the quality, the better the taste

Tie a bunch of rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, sage together with a string and use that dipped in olive oil or a marinade of your choice to baste your meat or fish

Unlike a marinade don’t add your barbecue sauce too early, wait until around 10 minutes before the end of cooking time

There are many types of barbecues on the market, the gas version does the trick and is probably the most popular. However, a wood-fired barbecue cannot be beaten for the flavour it gives the food

A good barbecue is a slow and low temperature that’s finished by increasing the heat to caramelise the smoky flavour produced over hours of cooking

Let your meat rest, no matter how hungry you and your guests are. Crack open a beer!

__________

Find out more. 01689 854848 www.chapteronerestaurant.co.uk or follow Andy on Twitter

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