Sauce Belle Aurore

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • About

    4 cups


Appears in

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

Craig Claiborne’s Kitchen Primer

By Craig Claiborne

Published 1969

  • About

It is not necessary to be a professional chef to produce some of the best sauces of classic French cookery. Here, for example, is a delicious sauce for ham or poached eggs. It is called sauce belle aurore (beautiful dawn) because of its rosy tint.


  • 7 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or an equal amount of drained canned tomatoes (the fresh tomatoes need not be peeled)
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • cups fresh or canned chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup port wine


  1. This sauce is made in two parts. For the first part, use a 1-quart saucepan. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in the saucepan and add the onion and garlic. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, over moderate heat until onion is wilted.

  2. Add the tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer slowly for 15 minutes. Stir the sauce occasionally as it simmers.

  3. While that sauce cooks, prepare the second sauce. Use a 2-quart saucepan and add 3 tablespoons of the remaining butter. Let it melt and then stir in the flour with a wire whisk. Stir until butter and flour are blended and continue to stir rapidly while adding the chicken stock. The mixture, when it boils, should be thick and smooth. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomato sauce is ready.

  4. Stir the tomato sauce into the second sauce and continue cooking about ½ hour. Add the cup of heavy cream and bring to a boil. Pour the sauce through a strainer and bring once more to a boil. Remove the sauce from the heat and swirl in the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Add the wine. Bring the sauce just to a boil but do not boil. Serve with poached eggs or hot sliced boiled ham.