The 5 Mother Sauces
In cooking, there are five basic mother sauces. They are the base of many other sauces. The five mother sauces are:
- Bechamel sauce
- Velouté sauce
- Espagnole sauce
- Hollandaise sauce
- Sauce tomat
Bechamel is the more basic of the five mother sauces. It contains flour, butter and milk. You start by making a roux. First, heat up a pot on your stove and add butter. Once your butter is melted, you add flour but not too much because the more flour you add the thicker your sauce will be. Once that turns into a golden yellow paste, your roux is ready. Next, add milk until you reach the consistency you like. The sauce will thicken as it simmers and even more as it cools.
This is a great sauce on it’s own. Just season with salt and you will be all set! It makes a delicious, creamy base for chicken pot pie. You can also add cheese and turn it into a mornay sauce so that it can be used as cheese sauce or for macaroni and cheese.
Velouté is one of the more light and creamy mother sauces. You start with your roux (just like bechamel) but add white stock or chicken stock instead of milk. You can also use fish stock or veal stock depending on the main protein of your finished dish. If you are cooking fish, I would recommend adding in some freshly squeezed lemon for the acidic tang.
Espagnole is a more complicated sauce, made with brown stock. To make brown stock, click on this link to obtain the brown stock recipe. (https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-make-brown-stock-996156) Espagnole is similar to a velouté, the only difference is it’s made with brown stock and the additions of tomato puree and mirepoix. This sauce serves as a starting point for rich, beefy sauces and is often served with red meat. Meats that are good with this sauce are beef tenderloin, braised beef short ribs, and braised lamb shanks!
Tomat is the classic tomato sauce that is most recognizable on pizza or pasta. It’s made by cooking tomatoes in a base of pork fat and stock until it thickens. Rendered over low heat, the fat is used to sauté aromatic vegetables to make a flavorful base. You can use this sauce in a lot of dishes like pastas or dipping sauces.
Hollandaise is a tangy, buttery sauce made by whisking butter and egg yolks. This sauce can be difficult to obtain at first because you do not want it to separate, or break. This sauce is delicious on seafood, vegetables and eggs.
Be creative with the dishes you make with these traditional sauces. Practice, practice, practice with the ones that are more difficult. These sauces will become second nature to you once you have mastered them. If you have any questions at all, please contact us at Salt Lake Culinary Education.