This is a tomato flavored and colored sauce based on a second stage roux, vegetables, herbs, bacon trimmings and white stock to which a reduction of vinegar and sugar is added at the last stage of cooking. It is a sauce in its own right.
Makes: 5 liters. Cooking time: 1 hour
350 g butter
400 g carrots
400 g onions
200 g celery
1 small prig thyme
1 bay leaf
1 clove crushed garlic
200 g bacon trimmings
400 g flour
500 g tomato puree
5 liters white sauce
seasoning of salt and pepper
1 dl vinegar
30 grams sugar
(1) Melt the butter in a thick bottomed saucepan.
(2) Add the vegetables, herbs and bacon trimmings and fry until a light golden colour.
(3) Add the flour, stir with a wooden spatula and cook until it takes a second stage roux texture and color.
(4) Add the tomato purée; cool slightly and add the boiling white stock.
(5) Gently simmer for an hour, skimming as and when necessary.
(6) Add the reduction of vinegar and sugar in order to adjust the degree of tartness.
(7) Pass the sauce through a conical strainer, reboil, season to taste and use as necessary.
Assessment of the completed sauce
(1) The sauce should be a natural tomato red in colour with a slight sheen.
(2) It should be light in consistency and sufficiently runny to just coat the back of a spoon. (When served separately in a sauceboat the consistency should be marginally thicker.)
(3) It should be slightly sweet in flavour, tasting of herb and bacon.
(4) It should be smooth in texture and not appear gluey. It should also be free from any particles from the cooking process.
Possible problem, cause and solution:
(1) Sauce burns during cooking
— sauce too thick, i.e. too much flour or too during cooking little stock; care must be taken when measuring the ingredients as a burnt sauce cannot be rectified.
(2) Sauce is rather acid in flavor
— too much tomato purée added; add a reduction of sugar and vinegar
(3) Sauce is gluey in texture
— sauce under-cooked; continue to cook for in texture the prescribed time.
(4) Sauce is rather pale
— insufficient tomato purée; add a little more purée and cook for a further half hour.