Saucy's Catering

5 Mother Sauces

 5 Mother Sauces      (See Sauces)

                               Béchamel Sauce 
Espagnole or Brown Sauce 
                               Velouté Sauce 
                               Hollandaise Sauce 
                               Tomato Sauce

These five sauces in the French haute cuisine mother sauce repertoire are the foundation for many derivatives created by adding or changing ingredients.

Béchamel sauce or White sauce, is usually made by whisking scalded milk gradually into a white flour-butter roux (equal part clarified butter and flour). The thickness of the final sauce depends on the proportions of milk and flour.  Béchamel sauce is a key ingredient in many lasagna recipes 

Espagnole or Brown Sauce is a very dark brown roux, to which veal stock or water is added, along with browned bones, pieces of beef, vegetables, and various seasonings. This blend is allowed to slowly reduce while being frequently skimmed. Tomato paste or pureed tomatoes are added towards the end of the process, and the sauce is further reduced.  Espagnole has a strong taste and is rarely used directly on food. As a mother sauce, however, it serves as the starting point for many derivative sauces including Demi-glace

Velouté sauce is a light stock (one in which the bones used have not been previously roasted), such as chicken, veal or fish stock, that is thickened with a blond roux. Thus the ingredients of a velouté are equal parts by mass butter and flour to form the roux, a light chicken, veal, or fish stock, and salt and pepper for seasoning. Commonly the sauce produced will be referred to by the type of stock used e.g. chicken velouté.  Sauce velouté is often served on poultry or seafood dishes.

Hollandaise sauce is an emulsion of butter and lemon juice or vinegar using egg yolks as the emulsifying agent (to bind the sauce), usually seasoned with salt and a little black pepper or cayenne pepper. Hollandaise sauce is well known as a key ingredient in Eggs Benedict. A normal ratio of ingredients is 1 egg yolk:1 teaspoon lemon juice:4-6 Tbs. butter. A common derivative of Hollandaise Sauce is Sauce Béarnaise which is produced by replacing the lemon reduction in hollandaise with a strained reduction of vinegar, shallots, fresh chervil, fresh tarragon and crushed peppercorns.

Tomato sauce is any of a very large number of sauces made primarily out of tomatoes, usually to be served as part of a dish (rather than as a condiment) Tomatoes have a rich flavor, low liquid content, very soft flesh which breaks down easily, and the right composition to thicken up into a sauce when they are cooked (without the need of thickeners like roux). All of these qualities make them ideal for simple and appealing sauces.  Marinara Sauce is an American-Italian term for a simple tomato sauce with herbs—mostly parsley and basil—but, contrary to its name (which is Italian for coastal, seafaring) without anchovies, fish or seafood. In other countries marinara refers to a seafood and tomato sauce.

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