This recipe is one in a series covering the basic or leading sauces in French Cuisine. Also known as Mother Sauces, these include Tomato Sauce, Bechamel Sauce, Espagnole Sauce, Veloute Sauce, and Hollandaise Sauce. With these five basic sauces, many variations or derivatives can be created that are suitable for almost any dish or recipe. The trick is knowing how to make these basic culinary staples at home.
What Is A Veloute?
Velouté much like Bechamel Sauce, is a creamy white sauce which is thickened with a roux.
While both sauces are smooth, creamy and generally white or cream colored, the biggest difference between them is that veloute is made with a white stock or broth, (most commonly chicken stock or fish stock), and Bechamel is made using milk.
Since veloute is broth based it provides a prefect example to show how anyone can thicken sauces or soups using starch as a thickening agent.
As this classic French sauce is made without milk, it makes an ideal alternative to cream sauces for those intolerant to lactose or with a dairy allergy,
Derivatives Of Veloute Sauce
In French, Veloute comes from the term velour which means velvet, and the sauce is just that. Velvety, full of flavor, veloute is great for making sauce derivatives( sauces made using veloute).
Some classical variations of veloute include:
- Bercy Sauce – made by adding white wine, shallots, and garlic.( ideal for garnishing fish such as this Whole Baked Haddock )
- Poulette Sauce – made by adding freshly sliced mushrooms, parsley, and lemon to a chicken veloute.
- Allmande Sauce – made from veloute sauce with the addition of mushrooms, peppercorn, lemon juice and thickened with a liaison instead of a roux.
- Supreme Sauce – made by adding heavy cream to a chicken veloute.
Before you start modifying the original sauce though, let’s learn how to make the base veloute recipe properly!
So How Do You Make A Basic Veloute Sauce?
To make a simple veloute at home you will only need a few simple ingredients and follow 3 easy steps.
- 1L of good quality white chicken stock or fish stock, (other stocks may be used but these two are traditional). The stock used will depend on what the sauce is to be served with, ie:. fish veloute with seafood dishes.
- 100 grams Blonde Roux (50 grams flour/50 grams butter). If you’ve never made roux before, make sure to learn how to make roux first so you understand the steps and reason roux is used!
On to the three steps you’ll need to follow to make your own veloute sauce from scratch.
- Begin by melting the butter over a medium-high heat, and then add in your flour and cook it out until you have a blonde roux. It is best to use a wooden spoon and a stainless steel pot or pan, (as opposed to an aluminium pot) to prevent the roux and eventual veloute sauce from taking on a greyish colour.
- Warm 1 litre of white chicken stock in a separate pot, and add the warm liquid stock to the roux while using a whisk to stir in the liquid as you pour to prevent any lumps from forming. White stock simply refers to stock which has not had its bones roasted, and while white stock is traditional, brown chicken stock or broth can be used just as easily.
- Gently bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for about twenty minutes to half an hour. This reduces the stock somewhat and also gives the flour in the roux a chance to properly absorb all liquid and thicken. Once the veloute has been simmered, it should be the proper consistency and only need seasoning with a little salt and pepper.
At this stage you could add any other flavorings that you want or turn the Veloute into one of its various derivative sauces, (such as Bercy, or Supreme Sauce). If you don’t plan on using the sauce right away you can cool it for future use, just be sure to follow basic safe food practices to avoid food poisoning!
Stay tuned next week for the last installment in this collection of Basic (or Leading) Sauces! In case you missed the other recipes in this series make sure to read up on Hollandaise, Bechamel, Espagnole, and Tomato Sauce!
How To Make Veloute Sauce In Three Easy Steps
- 1 litre good quality white stock
- 100 grams Blonde Roux 50 grams flour/50 grams butter
- appropriate seasonings for veloute sauce variations
- 1.Begin by melting the butter over a medium-high heat, and then add in your flour and cook it out until you have a blonde roux.
- 2.Warm 1 litre of white chicken stock in a separate pot, and add the warm liquid stock to the roux while using a whisk to stir in the liquid as you pour to prevent any lumps from forming.
- 3.Gently bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for about twenty minutes to half an hour.
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