My first port of call on the subject is Charles Herman Senn’s The Book of Sauces (Chicago, 1915.) It includes only one pink sauce – a glossy, jellied coating sauce for cold dishes called chauds-froid (warm-cold.)
Chaud-froid Sauce, Green or Pink.
Prepare a white chaud-froid sauce, to which add a few drops of spinach greening to give it a green tint, or a few drops of liquid carmine or cochineal to give it a rose or pink tint.
Chaud-froid Sauce, Blanche (White Chaud-froid Sauce.)
½ pint béchamel or supreme sauce, 1 gill aspic, 5 or 6 leaves French gelatine, 1 gill cream, 1 teaspoonful chili vinegar or lemon juice.
Dissolve the gelatine along with the aspic jelly, warm up the sauce, and mix the two together. Stir over the fire until it boils, put in vinegar or lemon-juice, and cook for a few minutes. Strain or tammy; add the cream when cooling and use as required.
There are a lot of versions of pink sauces or fish:-
Pink Sauce for Fish.
To make the appetising pink sauce which is served with fish in some restaurants, take a good white sauce, flavored with anchovy sauce, a little lemon juice, and cayenne, and colored with a single drop of cochineal.
Warwick Examiner andTimes (Queensland) 26 August, 1914
Shrimp Sauce [for fish].
The pink sauce makes a pretty contrast to the brown of the fish. Required: One pint of shrimps, a sprig of parsley and thyme, a little piece of onion, one and a half ounces of butter, one and a half ounces of flour, salt and pepper, a little lemon juice and anchovy essence. Shell the shrimps. Put the heads and tails into a saucepan with a pint of water, the herbs, and six peppercorns, and boil these for fifteen minutes, then strain off the liquor and save it. Melt the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour smoothly, then add the liquor gradually: you will want half a pint. Stir over the fire till the sauce boils, then add to it the lemon-juice and anchovy essence. Re-heat it, adding to it the shelled shrimps. See it is nicely seasoned, and serve it in a hot sauceboat. The shrimps should be boiled for a minute or two and then strained before they are added to the sauce.
Camperdown Chronicle (Victoria) 28 February 1905.
Pink Sauces for Puddings: there are many variations on the following theme:
Whip one pint of cream with one cupful of currant jelly, sweeten and serve in jelly glasses. Currant, raspberry, or strawberry juice may be used in place of jelly.
Still Another (Oakland, CA, 1883), by the Ladies' Aid Society of the First Congregational Church.
And if you want one to keep, there are also bottled pink sauces:-
Pink Sauce, for Fish.
Put into a pan, or wide-mouthed jar, one quart of good vinegar, half a pint of port wine, half an ounce of cayenne, one large table-spoonful of walnut catsup, two ditto of anchovy liquor, a quarter of an ounce of cochineal, and six cloves of garlic. Let it remain forty hours, stirring it two or three times a-day; run it through a flannel bag, and put it into half-pint bottles.
The Practice of Cookery, Adapted to the Business of Everyday Life (Edinburgh, 1830) by Mrs. Dalgairns.
Mix together half a pint of port wine, half a pint of strong vinegar, the juice and grated peel of two large lemons, a quarter of an ounce of cayenne, a dozen blades of mace, and a quarter of an ounce of powdered cochineal. Let it infuse a fortnight, stirring it several times a day. Then boil it ten minutes, strain it, and bottle it for use.
Eat it with any sort of fish or game. It will give a fine pink tinge to melted butter.
Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches (Philadelphia, 1840) by Eliza Leslie
Quotation for the Day.
It has been an unchallengeable American doctrine that cranberry sauce, a pink goo with overtones of sugared tomatoes, is a delectable necessity of the Thanksgiving board and that turkey is uneatable without it... There are some things in every country that you must be born to endure; and another hundred years of general satisfaction with Americans and America could not reconcile this expatriate to cranberry sauce, peanut butter, and drum majorettes.
Alistair Cooke, Talk About America (1968)