Leading Sauces

One more time, let's look at the three basic building blocks of sauce cookery,this time from a slightly different angle.

liquid + thickening agent = leading sauce leading sauce + additional flavorings = small sauce

We have talked about five basic liquids for sauces: milk, white stock, brown stock, tomato purée (plus stock), and clarified butter. From these we get our five leading sauces,also known as mother sauces, as shown in Chart 8.1.

Chart 8.1

The Leading Sauces


Thickening Agent

Leading Sauce

milk white stock (veal chicken, fish) brown stock tomato plus stock butter

+ white roux + white or blond roux + brown roux + (optional roux) + egg yolks

= béchamel sauce

= velouté (veal velouté, chicken velouté, fish velouté) = brown sauce or espagnole = tomato sauce = hollandaise

Note: Roux is not used in all tomato sauces, as tomato purée is naturally thick.

Note: Roux is not used in all tomato sauces, as tomato purée is naturally thick.

To these five sauces,we add one more: fond lié (fone lee ay), meaning "thickened stock." It is sometimes used in place of espagnole.

brown stock + arrowroot or cornstarch = fond lié

You should understand that these charts are a bit oversimplified. Most of these sauces have a few other ingredients for flavoring.Yet knowing this basic structure is the key to making sauces.

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