Smoked Tomato Confit
Confit refers to a food that is cooked in it’s own fat. In this case, the tomatoes are smoked and cooked in their own juice. The mixture is cooked slowly and reduced to a nice thick and rich paste that can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week or frozen in small batches for future use. It makes a great sauce for beef or chicken and can be added to dishes like pasta or Caprese Salads.
There are a few ways to get a nice smoky flavor into this sauce. The first is to actually smoke the tomatoes. You can smoke them on a gas or charcoal fired grill with wood chips, use a smoker like my Traeger wood pellet fired smoker/grill, or smoke them in the kitchen using a stovetop smoker. The other option to obtain that smokiness, is to add a little Liquid Smoke to the batch at the very end.
Cook the mixture down over medium-low heat for about 35 minutes or until the mixture becomes very thick. Finish the confit in a food processor to achieve a fine and smooth paste.
The confit can stay covered in the refrigerator for about a week. If I have extra sauce, I spoon 1/4 cup portions into small ziplock bags and freeze them for future use. Another way to utilize leftover sauce is to incorporate some into a compound butter.
Here is my recipe for a Smoked Tomato-Tarragon Butter:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, soft
- 3 Tablespoons Smoked Tomato Confit
- 2 teaspoons tarragon (dry-crumble, fresh-finely chopped)
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
See my post on Compound Butters for further explanation.
Smoked Tomato ConfitCourse: SauceDifficulty: Easy
10 plum tomatoes
5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 large garlic clove, minced
8 oz tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Core and halve the tomatoes lengthwise. Place them cut side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle them with 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle them with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Smoke the tomatoes for 30 minutes with a fruit wood (cherry or apple) at 275 degrees. If you don’t have a smoker, roast the tomatoes in a 375 degree oven for 1 hour. A smoked flavor can be achieved by adding a small amount of “liquid smoke” which is available at most supermarkets.
- Heat the remaining 3 Tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauté pan and sweat the onions for 2 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring. Add the garlic and cook briefly. Reduce the heat to medium and add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, paprika and sugar. Cook the mixture over medium heat for 35 minutes or until the mixture becomes very thick.
- Place the tomato mixture in a food processor and blend to a fine paste. Serve at room temperature.