Cut a cross at the top of the tomatoes and plunge into boiling water for 20 seconds. Take out and put in a bowl of cold water. Peel away the skin, cut into quarters, and remove the seeds. Chop 3 of them roughly, throwing away the stalky bits; cut 1 tomato into 5mm cubes and reserve. Heat the butter and olive oil in a saucepan. Throw in the shallots and cook for a minute over medium heat. Add the garlic, roughly chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, and bouquet garni. Cook over gentle heat, covered, for 20 minutes. Reduce over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni and garlic. Season lightly and set aside.
Cook all the ingredients except the salt together for 30 minutes in a medium saucepan. Then season lightly, drain, and reserve the liquid.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and cook the shallots in it over moderate heat for 5 minutes, without browning. Add the concassé and the court bouillon, stirring well together. Add the bay leaf and cook over moderate heat for 15 minutes. Stir in a good squeeze of lemon juice and a little salt. Remove the bay leaf and stir in the herbs. (Everything can be done ahead to this point.)
Bring the water and lemon juice to the boil in a small saucepan and throw the butter in all at once. Whisk hard until the butter has melted into the water, which should be lightly emulsified.
© 2001 Stephen Bull. All rights reserved.