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Jul 14, 2013 01:10 AM

"Tomatoes au Jus"--what is this?

I've come across a simple, intriguing recipe in "America's Best Vegetable Recipes" (by the food editors of "Farm Journal") from 1970 and I'm not sure what I'm looking at. It may be the name au Jus is throwing my expectations out of whack. I'll do my best not to violate Chow rules:

Butter, onion, parsley and juice drained from a can of tomatoes are cooked down to half. In go the (whole? unspecified) tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. This is only heated through.

The instructions "serve in sauce dishes" can mean two things, but surely they mean this is a dipping sauce, so "serve in dishes in which one would serve a sauce" right? And yet it isn't cooked in a way that will break the tomatoes down. Is this a chunky marinara?

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  1. hey I've served handmade pico de gallo to relatives who ought to know better and they think of it as a salad. if people like it let them disregard the nearby accoutrements.

    so I say smear it on bruschetta, over pour over pasta, whatever.

    I'd guess as a pasta sauce. and I'd doctor it.
    remember this was published in 1970 in Italian was still sort of 'exotic'. replace the butter with olive oil, drop the worcestershire (but maybe a few anchovies, olives or capers might be fun) and maybe keep the parsley, but add basil.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hill food

      But it's not presented as an Italian recipe. All it says is "Old-time favorite always in style". It could be New England for all I know.

    2. It sounds like sort of tomato sauce. But where is the garlic?

      1. IMHO, it is a side dish, tomatoes in their juice. By saying to serve in sauce dishes, they mean to serve them in small individual shallow bowls like one would serve Southern greens, both to keep the juice (or pot liquor sp? for greens) with the tomatoes and not soak any accompanying food.

        1. I think it may be simply a recipe for stewed tomatoes using the canned variety. Served in separate side dishes. The 70's sound about right.

          1 Reply
          1. re: miss_belle

            That's how I read it as well.

            Take the whole tomatoes out of the tin; simmer down the flavoured juice to thicken it; reintroduce the tomatoes and heat through.

          2. A cook I worked with told me that, when he worked in Australia, he prepared stewed tomatoes for breakfast every morning. It consisted of draining canned tomatoes, cooking down the juice, then returning the tomatoes and heating them through. It was served as a side dish with other breakfast foods. Sounds similar to your recipe.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mwhitmore

              Along the same lines, I think this would be great to poach some eggs in. Crusty dipping bread a must!