French-style tomato sauce


Well, I finally did it. I was convinced I would never make tomato sauce the French way, but I set myself to it today. Even so, it will always be stovetop for me. I doubt I'll ever bake tomato sauce for 2 hrs. in the oven.

See also: French-style tomato sauce #2

The text with blockquotes (the red line on the left side) was adapted FYI from THIS SOURCE PAGE

The sauce tomat —the French interpretation of tomato sauce —is prepared by combining rendered pork fat from salt pork belly ( = lard) with a blend of carrots, onions, and tomatoes, a roux and veal (or alternative meat) stock, simmered in a medium-heat oven for 2+ hours, then strained to get rid of all the extra baggage.

  • This is very different from the Simple Tomato Sauce.
  • As I already remarked repeatedly about the French sauces: unrealistically complicated and long-winded for daily-life cooking by a working parent.
  • Escoffier also thickens his tomato sauce with a roux, something I absolutely hate for tomatoes.

a. French-style tomato sauce


Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 2 hours, 20 minutes
Makes: About 2 quarts

This recipe is adapted from "The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery." The sauce can be frozen in small freezer containers up to 6 months.


I made it according to this recipe, well mostly that is. I used lard and a piece of cooked ham instead of rendering fat from salted pork. I prepared this all stovetop instead of switching halfway to the oven.

It doesn't taste bad at all. Marielos liked it too. But guess what?


This is what you need for 6-8 cups:

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 1/2 ounces salt pork, diced and blanched
    OR substitute with 2 tbsp. salted lard
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 quarts tomato puree or 7 pounds fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
Pic1: French-style tomato sauce
         And YES, I served it as a soup!



Pic2: butter, lard, onions, carrots, ham
Pic3: add flour.
Pic4: add  tomatoes & stock
  • Preheat the oven to 350 ºF.
  • Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
    • Add the salt pork; cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes.
    • Alternatively, skip this and use 1 tbsp. salted lard instead of rendering fat from salt pork.
  • Add the carrots, onion, bay leaf and thyme.
  • Cook, stirring, until a light brown, 8 minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables; cook, stirring, until light brown, 4 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, stock, garlic, sugar, salt and pepper.


Pic5: simmer to reduce (bake?)
Pic6: pass through food mill to remove the extras
Pic7: the end result is a smooth tomato sauce
  • Turn the heat to high; and keep stirring while bringing it  to a boil.
  • Transfer to an oven-proof dish with lid.
  • Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  • Pass sauce through a food mill or fine strainer into a clean container.
  • Optional: Run a blender on the strained sauce to make it all smooth.
  • Serve and enjoy.

Use the largest-base frying pan you have. It will speed up the reduction of the tomato sauce.


b. cream of tomato soup


After I made this sauce and from it the derived sauces, I really didn't have any specific use for this sauce in mind. I turned it into soup instead. We liked that even better than the sauce.

The first soup was made by blending the original tomato soup until very smooth.

Pic22: add spices
Pic23: puree
Pic24: reheat


Pic25: served
Pic26: with a cream spiderweb
Pic27: all mixed up = (crème de tomates)