Sauce Tomat 101
You guessed it, sauce Tomat is simply tomato sauce – one of the five French mother sauces. Tomato sauce definitely has a well-known historical presence in Italian cuisine, but that doesn’t mean the French can’t have their own take on it, right? It is believed that tomato sauce was first developed in South America in a form that looked more like salsa. This sauce can be made with various types of tomatoes, making it one of the most diverse staple sauces that uses French cooking techniques. Though this sauce is prepared in many different ways across the world, Auguste Escoffier’s recipe is consistently considered the standard in many culinary circles. Here’s a basic guide to sauce Tomat:
There are many modern variations of Escoffier’s classic sauce, often because the original recipe is rather time consuming to make. Notably, many recipes replace raw tomatoes with canned ones that are diced, quartered or mashed. It is easy to make double or triple batches of this recipe, especially since tomato sauce can easily be frozen and saved for later use. Here is a version of Auguste Escoffier’s original recipe:
- 2-3 oz (56-84 g) salt pork. Salt pork is a fattier part of the pig that looks similar to bacon but is never smoked.
- 3 oz (84 g) carrots, peeled and medium diced
- 3 oz (84 g) white or yellow onion, medium diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig thyme
- 2 oz (56 g) whole butter
- 2-3 oz (56-84 g) all-purpose flour
- 5 lbs raw, good quality tomatoes, mashed
- 1 qt (1 lt) white veal stock
- 1 clove freshly crushed garlic
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pinch of sugar
Fry the pork in the butter. When the fat has melted, add the carrots, onion, bay leaf and thyme. Cook the vegetables, stirring regularly. Add in the flour. Once it has browned, add in the tomatoes and veal stock. Stir the ingredients together until well mixed, then bring the sauce to a boil. Add the rest of the seasonings and the clove of crushed garlic. Place in the oven under moderate heat for 90 minutes. Remove the sauce and pass it through a sieve. Butter the top to prevent the formation of a skin.
Any sauce not being used within the next few days should be placed in an airtight container and put in the freezer.
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