Sauce choron is a classic French sauce that is delicious with any cut of steak or beef.
Smooth, silky and velvety, it's also known as béarnaise tomatée, as it traditionally has the addition of tomato purée or chopped tomatoes.
The tomato flavour is subtle, but adds a different dimension to the sauce.
Don't tell anyone, but it's perfect for dipping in your favourite fried potatoes too.
My family are big steak lovers, and we have some definite favourite sauces that we always go back to, like this creamy mushroom and cognac sauce.
However, it's fun to find some new flavours to try from some traditional recipes.
Sauce choron is a French classic that isn't very commonly on menus today, but it definitely ought to be.
I have to admit that my husband was very sceptical, After all, a tomato béarnaise sauce looks rather like a seafood sauce, and a pink sauce with steak seems unusual. Trust me, it's a delicious sauce, and if you are serving your steak with French fries, confit potatoes or chateau potatoes, it will go perfectly with them too.
And, if your are not a steak lover, this sauce goes well with fish and vegetables too.
❤️ Why you will love this dish
✔️ Classic French sauce.
✔️ Made in just a few minutes.
✔️ Delicious with a simple steak and chips.
✔️ Great entertaining idea.
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- Eggs - fresh free range large egg yolks if possible.
- Tarragon - I normally prefer to use fresh herbs, however, fresh tarragon isn't always easy to find all year round and I actually find that you get a stronger flavour with dried tarragon.
- Tomato - I've used unsweetened tomato purée or paste.
- Vinegar - white wine vinegar.
- Butter - salted or unsalted butter. If you are using salted butter the adjust the amount of salt to taste at the end.
- Shallot - these tend to have a sweeter and milder taste than brown cooking onions and are a classic in French cookery. The longer or banana shallots are slightly easier to peel than the small round ones.
- Bay leaf - a dried bay leaf. If you have a tree in the garden make sure that you dry the leaves first, as the flavour of fresh bay can be overwhelming.
- Peppercorns - black peppercorns for flavour.
- Salt - flaked sea salt or kosher salt.
💭Top tips for separating eggs
- I normally store my eggs at room temperature, but if you put your eggs in the fridge for an hour or so before you are ready to bake, then they will be easier to separate.
- Separate each egg, putting the yolk and whites in separate bowls then add the yolks to the bowl as you go. This makes it easier in case you come across a bad egg without wasting the rest
The printable recipe card with full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found at the bottom of the article.
- glass or ceramic bowl
- chopping board
- sharp knife
Peel and roughly chop the shallot into small pieces.
Crush the peppercorns with the back of a knife, so that they release their flavour.
Put the shallot, bay leaf, peppercorns, tarragon and vinegar into a small saucepan.
⏲️ Cooking time
Place the saucepan over a medium heat and allow the liquid to evaporate until about a tablespoon of liquid remains.
Scrape the mixture into a sieve with a heatproof bowl underneath that you will make the sauce in.
Put the butter in a another saucepan and melt over a medium heat or in the microwave in 10 second bursts on high.
Remove the milk solids and impurities that float to the top with a spoon.
💭 Top Tip
- Make the sauce by setting up a bain marie. You don't need to have any special equipment, just use a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. The bowl should sit on the saucepan and not in it so the bowl is heated with gentle heat from the water.
- The aim is to have about an inch of water in the bottom of a saucepan over a low to medium heat that is at a simmer.
- Take care to make sure that the bowl doesn't touch the water. In this way the contents of the bowl are warmed but don't get a direct heat. This will help to make the egg yolks increase in volume when they are whisked over warm air.
Add the egg yolks to the strained liquid and whisk for 2 minutes.
Set the bowl over simmering water and continue whisking for a further 2 minutes until the mixture is pale and thick.
Take the saucepan off the heat and whisk in a small amount of butter at first.
Then add the remaining butter iun a steady stream, whisking continuously.
Stir in the tomato purée and season to taste.
Serve immediately with your favourite steak.
Traditionally the sauce is served warm but it's eaqually delicious when it is at room temperature.
Traditionally sauce choron is served with beef dishes, but it goes equally well with fish and vegetable dishes.
- Bavette Steak
- Côte de Boeuf or Bone in Ribeye Steak
- Roast Rib of Beef
- Picanha Beef
- Jacob's Ladder
- Spider Steak
- Flanken Short Ribs
- Tomato purée - use skinned and finely diced and deseeded fresh tomato.
- Refrigerator - refrigerate for up to 2 days.
- Freezer - not suitable for freezing.
- To reheat - gently warm in a bain marie, whisking constantly.
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- The sauce is best made just before you want to serve it. You can keep it warm in the bain marie for up to an hour.
In classic French cooking there are five basic sauces that form the basis of many of the sauces we still use today.
Some classify mayonnaise as a sixth sauce, but essentially it is a derivative of hollandais sauce and is mainly served cold.
The White Sauces such as bechamel.
The Velouté Sauces such as supreme sauce.
The Espagnole Sauces.
Beurre Blanc Sauce.
These sauces are known as 'mother' sauces and they all have variations known as 'daughter' sauces.
Some daughter sauces you may know are sauce soubise and mousseline sauce.
The sauce was invented by chef Alexandre Étienne Choron, who was also famed with cooking and serving exotic animals during the Siege of Paris, which began in 1870.
Let me know what you think in the comments or you can post a picture and tag me on Twitter @chezlereve, Instagram @chezlerevefrancais, or Facebook @chezlerevefrancais
More French sauces
- glass or ceramic bowl
- chopping board
- sharp knife
- 2 eggs yolks
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 70 ml white wine vinegar
- 130 g butter
- 1 shallot
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 black peppercorns
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Peel and roughly chop the shallot into small pieces.
- Crush the peppercorns with the back of a knife.
- Put the shallot, bay leaf, peppercorns, tarragon and vinegar into a small saucepan.
- Place the saucepan over a medium heat and allow the liquid to evaporate until about a tablespoon of liquid remains.
- Scrape the mixture into a sieve with a heatproof bowl underneath that you will make the sauce in.
- Put the butter in a another saucepan and melt over a medium heat or in the microwave in 10 second bursts on high.
- Remove the milk solids and impurities that float to the top with a spoon.
- Add the egg yolks to the strained liquid and whisk for 2 minutes.
- Set the bowl over simmering water and continue whisking for a further 2 minutes until the mixture is pale and thick.
- Take the saucepan off the heat and whisk in a small amount of butter at first.
- Now add the remaining butter in a steady stream, whisking continuously.
- Stir in the tomato purée and season to taste.
- Serve immediately with your favourite steak.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.
More sauces to try
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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This is easy and tasty looking sauce. I love sauces made with tomatoes..will surely try this...
This sauce looked so good that I had to try it on chicken. I loved it so much and will be making it again soon!
We loved all the rich bold flavors in this silky sauce! Perfect on steak.
This sauce complimented our steak perfectly. 10/10.
And I thought béarnaise sauce cannot get any better! You proved me wrong! What a delicious sauce - we really enjoyed it!
This Sauce Choron sounds marvelous with the shallot, tarragon and tomato. I know my family is going to love it as much as yours.
My husband makes fun of me because the only thing I will eat without some sort of sauce or gravy on it is a sandwich! This one was delicious and easy to make and I can't wait to try it on soooo many things!
I can't wait to try this sauce on a ribeye steak! French sauces, like this sauce choron, are so yummy, and I'm excited to try this one to level up my cooking!
Oh wow! I hadn't heard of Sauce Choron before. The flavors sound absolutely fantastic. Definitely perfect for pairing with steak.
This is such an excellent sauce! I served it over steak last night and the family loved it!