Mastering Basic Sauces with the Safari Chef

Jul 11 2015

What is STOCK by The Safari Chef? In its simplest form it is the liquid left behind after water, bones, flavouring, vegetables and seasoning have slowly simmered. And what is the best thing to do with it? Simply answered, it is best used as a base for many soups, sauces and stews.

However, before we attempt to make any type of stock it’s important to be able to ‘identify’ the types:

Flavouring ingredients such as thyme, parsley, and bay leaves are used that are usually tied into a bouquet garni. Ok, don’t panic! Bouquet garni is simply a bundle of herbs and spices. Parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns enveloped in celery and leek and/or muslin cloth. It is used to enhance the flavour of the stocks, sauces and soups.

I am attempting to keep this introduction as “simple” as possible but every cook should master the five basic sauces known as the 'mother sauces', and they are:

•    Béchamel or White Roux.
•    Veloute [Blond].
•    Brown Roux [Demi-Glace]
•    Hollandaise [Butter-Based].
•    And you all familiar with this one… Tomato Sauce [pure-based].

*A roux is a cooked mixture of fat and flour, ratio 1:1*.

Brown roux: The flour is first browned and the fat is usually lard.

White roux: A lightly cooked roux to which milk is added to form a béchamel [white sauce based in milk].

Blond roux- reminds me of a blond joke... 'she calls down to the control tower and explains that the pilot has died and asks what she must do? They reply that this situation is not serious and that they will talk her down so that she can land safely. They then ask her for her position and height? To which she replies, I am sitting in the front seat and my height is five foot six. After a short silence the tower instructs her to repeat the following. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name'.  Any way back to the blond roux – this base is cooked a little longer than the white roux, and a stock is added which could either be fish for a fish dish, or chicken for a chicken dish.

Jus Lie –this is produced from roasting juices, with the addition of brown stock, thickened with arrowroot [a thickening agent].

Glazes- these are made by reducing stock. They are used to give extra flavour to sauces.

Emulsions – an emulsion is a mixture of water and fat held by an emulsifier example, egg yolk [like mayonnaise].

I think I have covered the basics in mastering your sauces, so in closing DID YOU KNOW? To add flavour to a béchamel sauce, an onion is studded with a clove which holds a dried bay leaf in place. This is called an onion cloute.

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