November 5, 2009

Choron sauce

While I was browsing for more information about the Choron sauce, that is actually a Béarnaise flavoured with tomato purée, I found some interesting facts about its creator Alexandre Étienne Choron who was the chef of the celebrated restaurant Voisin on the rue Saint Honoré. He is also remembered for his dishes served during the Siege of Paris by the Prussians in which began on September 19, 1870. During the siege, Parisians were reduced to eating cats, dogs, and rats. The bourgeois were not content to eat on such low animals, and demand at the de luxe restaurants remained high. As food reserves dwindled, these restaurants, including Voisin, improvised. Choron eyed the animals kept at the local zoo, and served exotic animal dishes at Voisin. For the midnight Christmas meal of 1870, Choron proposed a menu principally composed of the best parts of the animals kept in the Jardin d'acclimatation – stuffed head of donkey, elephant consommé, roasted camel, kangaroo stew, bear shanks roasted in pepper sauce, wolf in deer sauce, cat with rat, and antelope in truffle sauce – has become legendary. (source:wikipedia) Glaring huh?!

2 shallots
6-7 spirgs tarragon

10 sprigs chervil
150 ml dry white wine
2 tablespoons tarragon vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato purée
150 g butter
3 egg yolks
juice of 1 lemon
salt, pepper

Melt butter and remove the whey. Chop shallots and together with the wine, vinegar, chopped tarragon and chervil bring to boil and reduce to 2 tablespoons, sieve and set aside. In a pot bring water to boil and in another bowl add egg yolks, the reduction and 1 pinch of salt. Over steam beat egg yolks until it gets thick and foamy. Add butter in thin spurt and keep on whisking. Stir in tomato purée. Season with lemon juice, salt, pepper and fresh chopped tarragon.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That sauce looks mighty scrumptious! I love anything with tarragon...



Kalyn Denny said...

I've seen this on restaurant menus, but haven't ever made it. Sounds delicious, I agree with Rosa, anything with tarragon is yummy!

Houdini said...

I were okay with the meat sources of the poor in Paris at 1870, I guess, as long as there were any still to get, better than nothing to eat - a matter of survival.

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