1 bay leaf
5 whole cloves
5 cardamom pods (crushed) I used 1/2 t. ground cardamom
1 star anise
10 black peppercorns
1 (28 oz) can whole tomatoes
1 large yellow onion, quartered
2 Tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon champagne vinegar
1 teaspoon hungarian paprika
freshly ground black pepper
1. Using a piece of cheesecloth (or an empty tea bag), tie the cinnamon, bay, cloves, cardamom, anise, and peppercorns into a bundle. Set aside.
2. Pour tomatoes and their juice into a food processor or blender. Puree until totally smooth, and set aside all but 1/4 cup. To the remainder, add the onion and puree.
3. In a large dutch oven (this will splatter so use a large tall pot), heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion puree and the 2 teaspoons of salt and stir well. Cook for 8-10 minutes, letting the puree reduce and lightly brown. Add the tomato, sugar and vinegar, turn heat to a low simmer, and reduce for about 15 minutes uncovered, with an occasional stir. Add the spice bundle and reduce for 10 minutes more, with an occasional stir. When it’s done reducing, it should be a little thinner than commercial ketchup. Stir in paprika, taste for seasoning and add salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed.
4. Let ketchup cool and remove the spice bundle. Pour into a jar and chill overnight, or at least for 6 hours.