Sauces can take a dish from ordinary to extraordinary but making them from scratch can be intimidating. Check out this guide on how to create classic sauces for steaks, fish, and vegetables. Learn how to choose the right ingredients, master the five mother sauces, and achieve the perfect consistency. Get ready to elevate your cooking skills and get saucy like a pro!
Achieving the Perfect Consistency in Your Sauces
You want your sauces to be smooth and creamy, without any lumps or separation, and this is not always easy. There are some tips and tricks that can help you achieve that perfect consistency, consistently.
- Make sure you’re whisking or stirring constantly as you add your ingredients. This will help prevent lumps from forming and ensure that everything is evenly mixed.
- If you are cooking for someone who has difficulty swallowing, often called dysphagia, this amazing thickening agent can be used to thicken gravy or sauces and make them more palatable for them.
- Be careful with heat; too much will evaporate away all your moisture.
- Gently add heat and whisk, as you do with your ingredients.
The Importance of Choosing the Right Ingredients
The best sauces need the best ingredients. It doesn’t take much to make a sauce, so always invest a little more to get a better result. You will not be disappointed. If you have a beautiful cut of beef, why cheapen out on the sauce or gravy? Spend a little extra to give the meat the respect it deserves.
Pay close attention to the quality of your dairy, oils, and acids. High-quality butter from grass-fed cows and lemon juice that has been freshly squeezed is much better for your sauce than cheaper, processed alternatives. By choosing the right ingredients and ensuring their quality, you’ll be well on your way to creating delicious and perfectly balanced classic sauces for your favorite proteins.
Master the Five Mother Sauces
Take your cheffing skills to a higher level by learning how to make the five ‘mother’ sauces. These five classic sauces are the foundation of many dishes, and once you master them, you’ll have the skills to create delicious classic cuisine. Béchamel, velouté, espagnole, hollandaise, and tomato are the five ‘mother’ sauces in classic cooking.
Béchamel is a creamy white sauce made from a mixture of butter and flour called a Roux. Just add milk to make a roux a Béchamel.
Velouté is a light-colored sauce made with a roux and chicken or fish stock.
Espagnole is a brown sauce made with beef stock, vegetables, and seasonings.
A Hollandaise sauce is similar to a thin mayonnaise. Combine butter, egg yolk, and fresh lemon juice to create this signature dressing.
Classic tomato sauce is not like ketchup. This sauce is the perfect base for a Bolognese and is made using garlic, onions, and of course tomatoes.
By mastering the five mother sauces, you’ll have a strong foundation in sauce making and be able to create a variety of delicious and classic dishes.
Whether it’s for steaks, fish, chicken, or vegetables, choosing the right ingredients, mastering the five mother sauces, and achieving the perfect consistency are the keys to success.