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Classic Sauce Tomat

This recipe is based on Auguste Escoffier’s original sauce tomat recipe. You may wish to skip the roux, in which case, you can omit the flour. It really depends on your preference. In general, I think the tomatoes become thick enough on their own that additional flour isn’t necessary.


Makes: About 1 quart

Cost: $

Skill Level: Easy

Time to Make: 2 hours 45 minutes (2 hours inactive)


3 ounces salt pork (this is not bacon, but a small slab of fat that has been salted not smoked) If you can’t find salt pork, use olive oil or duck fat instead.

1 pound pork neck bones

4 medium carrots

1 large onion

4 stalks of celery, leaves included

2 cloves garlic

1 bay leaf

3 sprigs thyme

2 sprigs rosemary, optional

2 ounces butter

2 ounces flour

1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 quart veal or chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch of sugar

1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar, optional

Cayenne powder, optional

Olive oil

Special tools: Cheese cloth, kitchen twine


Roast the Pork Neck Bones: Preheat oven to 375ºF. Arrange the pork neck bones on a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the oven. Roast for 45 minutes or until well browned and beginning to caramelize around the edges. Flip once during cooking. Once the pork neck bones have finished roasting, turn the heat in the oven to 300ºF.

Prepare Ingredients: Cut the salt pork into small cubes. Finely chop the carrots, onion, and celery. Create a sachet by tying up the bay leaf, thyme, and rosemary in the cheesecloth with the kitchen twine. Mince the garlic cloves.

Melt the Salt Pork: In a large pot, add the salt pork and cook over medium heat until the fat has completely liquefied. Once the fat has melted, add the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic and cook until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Sprinkle the flour on top of the vegetables and stir to incorporate. Once it has browned, add the tomatoes and veal stock and stir vigorously until well incorporated.

Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Taste and add a touch of cayenne powder or a bit of white balsamic vinegar if desired. Add the roasted pork neck bones along with the sachet to the sauce.

Partially cover the pot of sauce with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours.

Finish the Sauce: After the sauce has finished cooking, discard the sachet and pork neck bones. Carefully transfer the remaining sauce to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.

Serve immediately. Leftover sauce can be frozen.

The most classic way to use sauce tomat is simply over a bowl of pasta, seen above.

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