Having a solid repertoire of sauces in your cook’s arsenal means you can create a great meal at the drop of a toque blanche. But how many sauce recipes do you actually know?
Here, we’ve compiled a guide to 23 different sauces that you should know how to make, from the French mother sauces to Thai dipping sauce, currywurst sauce to a vegan béchamel that more than stands its ground with the original. And if you want to delve further, read-up on the science of sauces and sauce reduction.
First up are Auguste Escoffier’s five mother sauces of French cuisine, namely hollandaise, béchamel, sauce tomate, sauce Espagnole and velouté. Of course, from these, literally hundreds of daughter sauces can be made. Click through to find out how to make the five mother sauces.
Here’s a great infographic detailing 12 basic sauces (including three of the mothers) and how to make them. There’s the rich and creamy béchamel. Next is hollandaise, with the tang of mustard and lemon. Parsley is the star of its namesake sauce and of chimichurri, which can make beef short ribs practically hum with flavour. Bold umami is front and centre in the tomato, BBQ, and espagnole sauces, with a palate of flavours ranging from fresh herbs to potent garlic to bedrock beef stock. For a new take on the BBQ sauce, you could also try adding lime and Corona. Béarnaise, velouté, and bread sauce all harness the power of butter. Meanwhile sweet and sour sauce delivers a ginger jolt of pleasure and horseradish sauce a pungent burn.
The link below will lead you to six more sauce-making videos from ChefSteps, including a recipe for Romesco sauce and how to whip up a quick pan sauce.
Now that you know how to make these sauces, what do you do with them? Béchamel can be used for dishes a diverse as macaroni and cheese and stuffed veal ears. Hollandaise is a must in eggs Benedict. You can explore the possibilities of velouté with this recipe for langoustine, chicken, and white asparagus with chanterelle and langoustine velouté. Finally, béarnaise is front in centre in Matias Perdomo’s beef sashimi and foie gras recipe.
And here's a further collection of must-know recipes for your sauce repertoire.
And how about chamoy?