Thursday, February 16, 2012

I Got Roux, Babe (an addendum)

Set to the tune of Miles Davis' 'Round Midnight

Ok, my lovelies, you know how to make gravy now, but what you may not know is that once you've gotten this technique of making a roux down....the sauce world opens up and invites you in with the splendor of a red-carpeted awards show (only you don't have to put up with Pauly Shore).

Here's what I mean.  You've got your white roux (1:1 Ratio of fat to flour) and it will thicken any liquid you want....why just limit yourself to stock?  And (though it's magical) why just limit yourself to gravy.  So here's handy-dandy little guide to some cool stuff you can do just by knowing how to make a gravy.

Note:  without pan drippings, some of these are sauces, but they're just as delicious.

White Roux Sauces:

*Bechamel (White Sauce): roux, milk
*Sauce Creme:  roux, milk (Bechamel) finished with cream
*Sauce Mornay:  roux, milk (Bechamel) finished with cheese (gruyere, parmesan, etc)
*Sauce Soubise: roux, milk (Bechamel), sauteed onion puree
*Veloute: roux, chicken stock
*Sauce Supreme: roux, stock, mushroom (either mushroom liquid or minced fresh mushrooms)
*Sauce Allemande:  egg yolk, stock, mushroom liquid, lemon juice whisked into prepared veloute, reduce
*Herbed Cream Sauce:  Veloute or Bechamel with herbs thrown in it

Brown Roux Sauces:

*Sauce Espagnole (Brown Sauce or Gravy if made with pan drippings):  roux, aromatics, beef stock
*Red Wine Sauce:  roux, dry red wine, aromatics, beef stock
*Sauce Chasseur:  roux, brown chicken or beef stock, mushrooms
*Sauce Godart: roux, brown sauce, prosciutto, white wine
*Sauce Robert:  roux, beef stock or brown sauce, onion, white wine, Dijon mustard....finish with cream and you've got your classic Beef Stroganoff sauce.

And this is just a scratch on the surface of the tip of the iceberg, folks.  The French took the idea of the sauce (which had been around since ancient Roman times) and ran with it....and consequently, almost anything can be, and has been a sauce....and the French have a difficult-to-pronounce name for it.  In fact, in the 19th century, they (specifically two giants of the culinary world: Antonin Cereme and Auguste Escoffier) even codified a system of sauces from which all other sauces are derived from that is still in use today.  These are called the Mother Sauces and they are:

*Veloute - Stock-based Sauces
*Bechamel - Dairy-Based Sauces
*Espagnole - Meat/Beef-based Sauces
*Hollandaise/Mayonnaise - Emulsified and Egg-based Sauces
*Tomato - um....Tomato-based Sauces

We'll get into the other two at a later date, but I want you to see that just from making a roux and adding some liquid to it, you already know 3 of the 5 mother sauces....and a HUGE selection of derivatives.  So while other people may be content with their meat being plain, or.....ugh....a little packet-based sauce, you, dear readers will live your culinary dreams in style.  My readers are the most brilliant...

Thanks again for reading.


  1. :)...learned a few new ones! Thanks

  2. Miles Davis and roux... Why are you not in my kitchen?


  3. Rob, a good tip to mention is I believe you can prepare your i:1 ratio roux & divide it up in ice cube trays & freeze for quick & easy sauce and gravy (Is this correct?)

    1. You can if you wish, yes. I don't find the process to be particularly arduous, so I just make it as I need it. It also affords me an opportunity to tend to the other aspects of the meal if needed.