SCS 12| Sauce Tomat


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In part four of our five part mother sauce series, we talk about Sauce Tomat, the base for many variations of modern tomato sauce. We finish up our talk on thickening agents, with a quick discussion on purees, bread crumbs, and food grade gums like Ultra Tex 3 and Xanthan Gum. In the main technique segment, we go over Escoffier's classic recipe for Sauce Tomat, and then cover some modern variations.

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13 comments

pm_odonnell
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Hey Jacob I had a question on using a puree as a thickener.  Usually when you cook using a mirepoix the aromatics have given all they can to the food.  In this instance I'm thinking about a braised short rib.  The vegies still taste really good and are fun to snack on because of all the flavor, I am torn using them as a side dish just because of the presentation vaule....or lack there of.  I hate wasting them and after hearing that you can use purred vegetables to thicken a sauce I was curious if you could us your mirepoix to thicken your braising liquid that you end up reducing to glaze your short ribs.  

Patrick
Jacob Burton
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@ Patrick,

You could use the mirepoix, but you would have to puree it really fine in a blender. Anything too course and you're sauce will look broken and chunky. Make sure you pass it through a chinois before you serve.
GreenBake
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Any extra water to allow the proper extraction of the juice? I just made some (blended) mirepoix and was wondering about this.
GreenBake
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Does Ultratex (3 or 8) need shearing power the same way Xanthan Gum does?
Jacob Burton
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@ GreenBake,

While the pureed mirepoix will add flavor, the puree as discussed in the above comment was also intended as a thickener. Adding water would drop the viscosity which could possibly lead to better flavor extraction but cancel out the thickening properties of the puree since it would now be fairly watery. If flavor extraction is really what you're after, juice the mirepoix instead of blending. You can then go back and use a food grade gum as a thickener, such as Xanthan or Ultratex.

Ultratex does need shearing power to hydrate and disperse properly, but in my experience, it requires less shearing power than xanthan gum.
GreenBake
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It’s really hard to find canned whole tomatoes without calcium as an ingredient (either from California or Italy). Finally I found some at Costco (of all places).

 

It’s the Solania brand of San Marzano tomatoes. The ingredient list is whole peeled tomatoes, tomato puree, citric acid and salt.

GreenBake
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I tried the San Marzano tomatoes and the first thing that struck me is how sweet they were. They were flavorful, but the sweetness almost overcame the flavor of the tomato. The balance seemed off.

 

Has anyone compared San Marzano tomatoes from Italy and any variety of similar tomatoes from the U.S.?

 

I’m looking for a flavor vs. sweetness comparison of the tomatoes by themselves and incorporated into a sauce.

harrydr

Does Ultratex 3/8 need to be heated or can it be use in cold liquid?

GreenBake
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Ultratex 3/8 doesn’t require heat, but does require a certain amount of shearing power to thicken, I believe. One characteristic of Ultratex 8 is that it works better than Ultratex 3 for acidic liquids (99% sure of this). If someone out there has used these two, please let me know if you have any comments.

Jacob Burton
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Yep, you're right on the money.

Margaux
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Truly enjoyed your pod cast. Thank you for your very worthwhile contribution.

Very valuable.

 

JM.

GreenBake
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Is there any technique other than a chamber vacuum or leaving blended sauces in a fridge overnight to bring back the color of a blended sauce?

I remember from my days wearing braces that sonic (high-frequency) sound can sterilize stuff. Recently I saw a Sonic Foamer for beer that is suppose to bring the dissolved carbon dioxide to the surface in a foam:

http://www.amazon.com/Ultimate-Foamer-Better-official-tonight/dp/B00IYS1...

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/beer-aroma-booster

Comments (including, “Are you insane?!” are welcome.

Jacob Burton
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The only techniques I'm familiar with are pulling the air out with a chamber vacuum or letting it settle for a few days in the fridge (not optimal).

I'm sure there's other high tec ways to accomplish this, but whether or not they're practical for the kitchen, I'm not sure.
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