Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Mother Sauces....Veloute

Béchamel, Espagnole, Hollandaise, Mayonnaise, Tomato Sauce, and Velouté are the mother sauces of French cuisine. We also have added Beurre Blanc which isn't officially a mother sauce, but it also is a solid base other sauces are built from. Once you know how to make these you can add a few different ingredients to each base to make 100's of different variations.
In preparing a velouté sauce, a light stock (one in which the bones used have not been roasted), such as chicken, veal, shellfish, or fish stock, is thickened with a blond roux.

Thus the ingredients of a velouté are butter and flour to form the roux, a light chicken, veal, fish stock, or shellfish stock, salt and pepper for seasoning. Commonly the sauce produced will be referred to by the type of stock used e.g. chicken velouté.

It is often served on poultry or seafood dishes, and is used as the base for other sauces. Sauces derived from a velouté sauce include Allemande sauce (by adding lemon juice, egg yolks, and cream), Suprême sauce (by adding mushrooms and cream to a chicken velouté), and Bercy sauce (by adding shallots and white wine to a fish velouté).

Veloute Sauce

1 1/2 cups white stock (veal, chicken, or fish) - white stock just means the bones were not roasted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Bring the stock to a simmer in a large saucepan.

In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over low heat (don't let it burn) and add the flour. Raise the heat to medium and stir the butter and flour together for about 2 minutes. You are making the roux. Take a good whiff and it should have a pleasant toasted smell.

Whisk the simmering stock into the roux and keep heating and whisking. When the stock begins to simmer again, turn down the heat to low and cook until the sauce thickens. A thin skin may form, just skim it away with your spoon. Depending on your stovetop, the sauce may take 5 - 10 minutes to get to your desired consistency.

Season with salt and pepper. Strain if you have a fine mesh strainer or chinois.

White Veal Stock

10 pounds Veal bones
2 large onions
2 to 3 cloves
2 stalks celery
2 white leeks, washed
4 carrots, peeled
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
4 to 5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 bunch parsley (1 cup loose)

Cover the bones with cold water. Bring slowly to a boil and skim the solidified blood and albumin that rises to the surface of the water. Boil for 2 hours, skimming regularly. Most Of the scum will rise to the top during these first 2 hours.

Stick one of the onions with the cloves. Add to the pot along with the celery, leeks, carrots, garlic, seasoning and herbs.To give an amber golden color to the stock (if a consommé or aspic is to be made from the stock), cut an unpeeled onion in half and brown in a skillet on medium heat on top of the stove until the cut side turns quite dark. Add to the stock.

Boil slowly for 6 hours, or 2 hours if you use only chicken or fish bones. Evaporation will reduce the liquid. Add water periodically to compensate. Strain and reduce to 3 quarts. Refrigerate overnight then discard the fat which will have solidified on top of the stock. Pack in small containers and freeze if not needed.

White Fish Stock

10 pounds White Fish Bones (Halibut, and Cod work well, Salmon is too strong)
2 large onions
2 to 3 cloves
2 stalks celery
2 white leeks, washed
4 carrots, peeled
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
4 to 5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 bunch parsley (1 cup loose)

Cover the fish bones with water and bring to a boil. Simmer for an hour and periodically skim the foam off the top.

Add your vegetable and seasonings, and simmer for another hour.

White Chicken Stock

10 pounds Chicken bones
2 large onions
2 to 3 cloves
2 stalks celery
2 white leeks, washed
4 carrots, peeled
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
4 to 5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/2 bunch parsley (1 cup loose)

Put the leftover bones and skin from a chicken carcass into a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Add veggies like celery, garlic, onion, carrots, parsley.

Add salt and pepper, about 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/4 tsp of pepper.

Add the rest of your spices.

Bring to a boil and reduce heat to bring the stock to a low simmer.

Simmer uncovered at least 4 hours, occassionally skimming off the foam that comes to the surface.

Remove the bones and strain the stock.

Shellfish Stock

4-6 cups shellfish shells, from shrimp, lobster, and/or crab
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 large yellow onion, sliced or chopped
1 carrot, roughly sliced or chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly sliced or chopped
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 sprigs of thyme
Several sprigs parsley
1 bay leaf
10-15 whole peppercorns
2 teaspoons salt

Break thick shells (lobster and crab) into smaller pieces by putting in a sealed, thick plastic bag and either rolling with a rolling pin or hitting with a meat hammer to crush. Cut up thinner shrimp shells with a chef's knife. Don't crush or cut too small. You can even skip this step if you want, if you are already dealing with broken up shell pieces (like cracked crab). Put in a large stock pot and cover with an inch (but no more than an inch) of water.

Put the stove temperature on medium high and slowly heat the shells in the water. As soon as you see that little bubbles are starting to come up to the surface, reduce the heat to medium. Do not let it boil. You want to maintain the temperature at just below a simmer, where the bubbles just occasionally come up to the surface. Do not stir the shells. Stirring will muddy up the stock. As the bubbles come up to the surface a film of foam will develop on the surface. Use a large slotted spoon to skim away this foam. Let the shells cook like this for about an hour; skim the foam every few minutes. The foam comes from shells releasing impurities as their temperature increases.

Put the thyme, bay leaves, and parsley in cheese cloth. Secure with kitchen string to make a bouquet garni.
Once the stock has stopped releasing foam, you can add the wine, onions, carrots, celery, tomato paste, herb bouquet garni, and peppercorns. Bring to a low simmer and reduce heat so that the stock continues to simmer, but not boil, for 30 minutes. If more foam comes to the surface, skim it off. Add salt and remove from heat

Dampen a few layers of cheesecloth and place over a large, fine mesh strainer, over a large pot or bowl. Pour the stock into the strainer. Discard the solids. Either use the stock right away, or cool for future use. If you aren't going to use in a couple of days, freeze (remember to leave some head room at the top of your freezer container for the liquid to expand as it freezes.)


Poulette: Mushrooms finished with chopped parsley and lemon juice
Aurora: Tomato puree
Hungarian: Onion, paprika, white wine
Ivory/Albufera: Glace de viande
Normandy: Mushroom cooking liquid and oyster liquid/fish fumet added to fish veloute, finished with a liaison of egg yolks and cream
Venetian: Tarragon, shallots, chervil

Allemande Sauce

The classical Allemande sauce is made with veal velouté, but you can use chicken veloute if that's all you have on hand.

1 quart veal (or chicken) velouté
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt to taste
White pepper to taste Place the veloute in a saucepan and bring to a simmer; reduce very slightly.

Beat the yolks and cream together in a stainless steel bowl. Temper the liaison by slowly adding a small amount of the hot veloute; repeat until you've incorporated about a third of the sauce into the liaison.

Slowly stir the liaison back into the pan.

Reheat to a very low simmer. Do not bring to a boil. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Strain through cheesecloth.

Supreme Sauce

1 quart chicken veloute
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cold butter
Salt to taste
White pepper to taste
Lemon juice to taste

Heat the veloute in a medium saucepan and simmer until reduced by 1/4, stirring occasionally. Pour the cream into a metal bowl and temper by slowly incorporating a small amount of the hot veloute. Slowly stir this into the sauce, and return to a very low simmer. Swirl in the raw butter until melted, then season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Strain through cheesecloth


bylundstudios said...

My comment is about punctuation. In the following phrase on your website, the word "recipe's" is in error. It should be plural "recipes", not possessive with an apostrophe. thanks. tessie

"A collection of tried and true regional family recipe's handed down through the ages."

Damien Maier said...

You say to bring your fish stock to the boil, but doing so results in a cloudy stock. Bring it to just below a boil, then reduce the heat so that the top of the water is just barely moving. This will result in a perfect, clear stock every time.