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Discover the secrets of French cuisine sauces.

We’ve all had a taste of each of them at some point, be it ladled over pasta, stirred into soup or slathered on that succulent hunk of steak. But how many of us actually know where our sauces come from? This quick guide will help you unearth the secrets behind these sauces of classical French cuisine.

White Sauces

Béchamel Sauce

This sauce is necessary in making many other classic sauces such as crème sauce, mustard sauce and many cheese sauces such as “Mornay Suce”. Produced by combining a white roux of butter and flour with heated milk, it is commonly served with white meats, and used as a foundation in many gravies and soups, as well as popular dishes ranging from lasagne, other pastas and pizzas.

Hollandaise Sauce

Most popular in breakfast dish of eggs Benedict, hollandaise sauce combines lemon juice and clarified butter into egg yolks through whisking at low temperatures. As with the other French sauces, it acts as the model for many other sauce recipes, including sauce Béarnise and several other French sauces. Hollandaise sauce can be used with most common items, ranging from eggs to both red and white meats, and even vegetables or baked potatoes.

Veloute Sauce

Veloute is one of the main white sauces, it’s formed by thickening a light stock, usually made from chicken, fish or veal, with a white roux mentioned earlier. There are a number of sauces that derivative from this base.

Brown Sauce 

Espagnole Sauce

Is the simplest among brown sauces and the heaviest, it’s made by reducing a broth consisting of a brown roux (made by cooking clarified butter with flour for a longer duration instead of regular whole butter), veal or beef stock, browned bones, pieces of red meat and vegetables. During the cooking process, the connective tissues in the bones and meat are slowly dissolved to form a natural gelatinous thickening agent.

Once fully reduced, this thick and flavorful concoction can then be used to create other rich sauces such as demi-glacebordelaise, or even spooned gloriously over steaks and other red meats on its own.

Sauce Tomato 

French Tomato Sauce is prepared by combining meat fat with a mixture of carrots, onions, tomatoes, roux gravy and veal, then boiled in a medium-heat oven for two hours. The large number of ingredients used creates a delicious sauce, which is usually merged with other ingredients to form a range of other condiments including Spanish and Portuguese sauces.


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