Sauce Velouté

Sauce Velouté is the first white sauce mère that we will explore this week. Sauce Velouté is made by combining your white roux with a light colored stock, like stocks made from vegetables, chicken, shellfish or fish. Velouté in French means “velvety”, obviously a reference to the finished sauce’s texture. The petites sauces that derive from Sauce Velouté are great over fish, poultry, pork and vegetables without overpowering any of them.

Sauce Velouté

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons AP flour
2 cups stock (vegetable, fish, or poultry)
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

Start by making a white roux: Use a heavy bottomed saucepan that distributes heat evenly. Put the pan over medium-low heat and add the butter and melt the butter. When the foam subsides take the pan off the heat. Using a flat whisk or wooden spatula, rapidly stir in the flour. Return the pot and stirring every couple of minutes, cook until the flour is a straw color. Transfer the roux to a mixing bowl to stop the cooking

For combining the stock and roux, the standard rule is: hot roux = use a cold stock; or cold roux = use a hot stock

To finish the above recipe: Place the roux back in the saucepan and whisk in half of the liquid. Place the pot over medium heat and whisk in the remaining liquid. When the roux and stock are well combined, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, skimming frequently. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Strain the sauce and allow to cool, uncovered, to room temperature if you plan on storing it.

There are two categories of petites sauces made from Sauce Velouté: In the first, the ingredients are first cooked in wine, butter or stock and then combined with the mother sauce. In the second, the ingredients are stirred into the sauce in order to finish it. From the first category, we have sauces like Sauce Ravigote, Sauce Bercy, and Sauce Allemande. The second includes Sauce Bonne Femme, Sauce Suprême, and Sauce Suprême Aurore.

Sauce Allemande

2 cups Sauce Velouté
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon lemon juice
freshly grated nutmeg
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Reduce the Sauce Velouté to 1 cup, by cooking it over medium-low heat. Reduce the heat to low and add a bit of the sauce to your yolks in order to temper them, gradually bringing the yolks up to the temperature of the sauce in order to avoid having scrambled eggs. Stir in the tempered yolks, the butter, nutmeg and lemon juice. Cook until thick. This sauce is very good over fish and chicken.

Sauce Suprême

2 cups Sauce Velouté
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons crème fraîche
1 tablespoon butter

Gradually stir the cream and crème fraîche into the Sauce Velouté. Finish the sauce by swirling in the butter.

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