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Simple Mushroom Ketchup Cooking Recipe

Below is the quick and easy cooking recipe for Mushroom Ketchup.

If you love good ketchup, gentle reader, make it yourself, after the following directions, and you will have a delicious relish for made dishes, ragouts, soup, sauces, or hashes. Mushroom gravy approaches the nature and flavor of made gravy, more than any vegetable juice, and is the superlative substitute for it; in meagre soups and extempore gravies, the chemistry of the kitchen has yet contrived to agreeably awaken the palate and encourage the appetite.

A couple quarts of double ketchup, made according to the following receipt, will save you some score pounds of meat, besides a vast deal of time and trouble, as it will furnish, in a few minutes, as good sauce as can be made for either fish, flesh, or fowl. I believe the following is the best way for preparing and extracting the essence of mushrooms,6 so as to procure and preserve the Mushroom Ketchup their flavor for a considerable length of time.

Look out for mushrooms, from the beginning of September. Take care of the right sort and fresh gathered. Full-grown flaps are to be preferred. Put a layer of these at the bottom of a deep earthen pan, and sprinkle them with salt. Then another layer of mushrooms, and some more salt on them, and so on, alternately, salt and mushrooms. Let them remain 2 or 3 hours, by which time the salt will have penetrated the mushrooms, and rendered them easy to break. Then pound them in a mortar, or mash them well with your hands, and let them remain for a couple of days, not longer, stirring them up, and mashing them well each day. Then pour them into a stone jar, and to each quart add an ounce and a half of whole black pepper, and half an ounce of allspice. Stop the jar very close, and set in a stewpan of boiling water, and keep it boiling for 2 hours at least.

Take out the jar, and pour the juice, clear from the settlings, through a hair sieve (without squeezing the mushrooms), into a clean stewpan; let it boil very gently for half an hour. Those who are for superlative ketchup, will continue the boiling till the mushroom juice is reduced to half the quantity. There are several advantages attending this concentration: it will keep much better, and only half6 the quantity required. So you can flavor sauce, &c., without thinning it; neither is this an extravagant way of making it, for merely the aqueous part is evaporated. Skim it well, and pour it into a clean dry jar or jug; cover it close, and let it stand in a cool place till next day. Then pour it off as gently as possible (so as not to disturb the settlings at the bottom of the jug), through a tamis or thick flannel bag, till it is perfectly clear. Add a tablespoonful of good brandy to each pint of ketchup, and let it stand as before. A fresh sediment will be deposited, from which the ketchup is to be quietly poured off and bottled in pints or half pints (which have been washed in brandy or spirits). It is best to keep it in such quantities as are soon used.

Take especial care that it is closely corked and sealed down. If kept in a cool dry place, it may be preserve the Mushroom Ketchupd for a long time; but if it be badly corked, and kept in a damp place, it will soon spoil.

Examine it from time to time, by placing a strong light behind the neck of the bottle, and if any pellicle appears about it, boil it up again with a few peppercorns.


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