Mother Sauce.

sauces     In cooking, a sauce is liquid, cream or semi-solid food served on or used in preparing other foods. French people loves sauce and they pair different sauce with different food. Sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moisture, and visual appeal to another dish.In the culinary arts, the term “mother sauce” refers to  basic sauces, which are the starting points for making various secondary sauces or “small sauces.”

     They’re called mother sauces because each one is like the head of its own unique family of sauces.A sauce is essentially a liquid plus some sort of thickening agent along with other flavoring ingredients. Each of the mother sauces is made with a different liquid, and a different thickening agent — although the mother sauces are thickened with roux, in each case the roux is cooked for a different amount of time to produce a lighter or darker color.

1.  Béchamel Sauce

Béchamel is probably the simplest of the mother sauces because it doesn’t require making stock. If you have milk, flour and butter, you can make a very basic béchamel.


Béchamel can be used as an ingredient in baked pasta recipes like lasagna, and also in casseroles. But it’s also the basis for some of the most common white sauces, cream sauces and cheese-based sauces.

2.  Classic Tomate Sauce

tomate-sauce-2500The second mother sauce is the classic Tomate Sauce. This sauce resembles the traditional tomato sauce that we might use on pasta and pizza, but it’s got much more flavor and requires a few more steps to make.

First we render salt pork and then sauté aromatic vegetables. Then we add tomatoes, stock and a ham bone, and simmer it in the oven for a couple of hours. Cooking the sauce in the oven helps heat it evenly and without scorching.

3.  Velouté Sauce

Velouté is another relatively simple mother sauce. Velouté sauce is made by thickening white stock with roux and then simmering it for a while. While the chicken velouté, made with chicken stock, is the most common type, there is also a veal velouté and fish velouté.veloute-sauce-2500Each of the veloutés forms the basis of its own respective secondary mother sauce. For instance, chicken velouté fortified with cream becomes the Suprême Sauce. Veal velouté thickened with a liaison of egg yolksand cream becomes the Allemende Sauce. And the fish velouté plus white wine and heavy cream becomes the White Wine Sauce.

Small sauces from velouté can be derived from the velouté directly, or from each of the three secondary sauces. For example:

  • Normandy Sauce
  • Bercy Sauce
  • Hungarian Sauce
  • Mushroom Sauce
  • Aurora Sauce
  • Poulette Sauce
  • Shrimp Sauce
  • Herb Seafood Sauce

Sauces in French cuisine date back to the Middle Ages. There were many hundreds of sauces in the culinary repertoire. Since it is important for French cuisine, you may have your own favorite  sauce or ‘create’ one that only conforming you.

From: Mavis Ye Jingwen


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