Classification of sauces


Sauces may be classified in several ways.  Here is one system.

  1. By serving temperature warm or cold
  2. By flavor: blandness or piquancy
  3. By acidity
  4. By sweetness
  5. By color
  6. By base: neutral or meat.

In general, Sauce can be classified under two major heads as follows:

Proprietary Sauces

:  Of the owner, or Held in private ownership, or Manufacture and sale of which is restricted by patent.

Proprietary Sauces Denotes:

  • Sauces that are not made in the kitchen, but can be purchased from the market.
  • They are imported or procured locally.
  • They have a unique taste which cannot be reproduced by anybody.
  • It has a secret recipe, guarded by patents.
  • They are multipurpose in their use.

The examples are Tomato Ketchup, HP Sauce, Tobasco Sauce, Worcestershire sauce, English Mustard sauce, French Mustard sauce, Chilli sauce, etc.

Preparatory Sauce

 Very much made in the kitchen by following a standard recipe and traditional guidelines. Depending upon the style of making they are classified as follows:

The function of the Sauce in Culinary work

  • Sometimes sauces are used to add a contrast in taste to another food. Apple sauce with fresh roast pork serves the same purpose. Broadly speaking any condiment or mixture of food, which serves to contrast with or compliment another food, can be termed a sauce.  In this broad sense, a peanut butter and jelly mixture would be a sauce to a piece of bread if they were served together.
  • Some sauces are used to add sharpness or tanginess to bland food. A remoulade sauce served with shrimp is an example of a piquant sauce.
  • Sauces may add to the appearance of food, sometimes as a coating which is poured or brushed over the food to give a pleasing appearance to an otherwise uninteresting item. the chaud-froid sauce made with cream or mayonnaise and gelatin is used to coat various food items.
  • Sauces such as barbeque sauce are used to modify the original flavor of food, blending the sauce flavor with the flavor of the food.
  • Some sauces are used to disguise or mask the original flavor of the food. As the French use the word `mask’ in regard to sauces, masking a food with jelly or sauce is to completely cover it physically hiding its appearance. Masking does not change the true flavor of the food.
  • Sauces should never be used to change the flavor of food material, only to enhance or to compliment the flavor of the food.
  • Salad dressings such as French dressing and mayonnaise could also in this sense be considered sauces. However, sauces are usually considered those mixtures served with meats, entrees, desserts, and other major foods as a compliment or contrast to their flavor.

General faults in sauce production

  1. Lumpiness: This may be caused by the following ……
    • Roux is too dry when liquid is added.
    • Adding liquid too quickly and not stirring continuously.
    • Incorrect temperature of roux and liquid. One should be hot and others should be cold.
    • Formation of the skin when the sauce comes in contact with air and becomes dry. This can be prevented by putting a film of melted butter on the surface of the sauce or by using a greased paper.
    • By allowing the sauce to congeal on the sides of the cooking vessel which later could be stirred into the sauce.
  2. Poor gloss: This is caused by insufficient cooking of the sauce or using a sauce which has not been passed, tammied or liquidized. High gloss is achieved by preparing the sauce correctly and added by the addition of butter just prior to service, called ‘mounting with butter’ or ‘monster au beurre’
  3. Incorrect consistency: This is the result of incorrect formula balance. Over and undercooking is ultimately lead to an incorrect consistency.
  4. Greasiness: Too much fat in roux or failure to skim off surface grease as it rises. The use of greasy stock may cause this fault.
  5. Poor color: Incorrect cooking of the roux in the early stage, using dirty cooking vessel or utensils may cause poor color.
  6. Raw starch flavor: This causes due to the insufficient cooking of starch. Starch needs to reach to boiling point and simmered it for a further period to avoid for a raw starch flavor.
  7. Bitterness: This is caused by over-browning or burning of the roux.

White Sauce: Bechamel Sauce

White sauce or Bechamel sauce is more versatile for its neutral base. It is used to bind soufflés, croquettes, soups, egg dishes and gratins and to coat many foods. The texture should be smooth and rich and the consistency of double cream. The taste should be milky with no hint of raw flavor.

A plain Bechamel Sauce is made with flour .butter and milk in a ratio of 1:1:20.It’s flavored with a clove studded onion(cloute /pique) which is infused in milk before making the sauce. Sometimes a amount of finely chopped onion,which is sweated in butter added to milk before adding the roux.

For thickening soup or sauce use only 15 grms. Of butter ,15 grms of flour with 225ml of milk and for a very thick Bechamel sauce ,use only 25 grms of butter ,25 grms of flour with 225 ml of milk.

Thickening milk with  a white  roux  and  simmering  it with  aromatics makes  this white

sauce. It should be creamy, smooth and lustrous.


Butter     30 GM

Flour      30 GM

Milk       300 ml

Onion     1, studded with cloves.

 Method :

  • Boil the milk.
  • Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and the flour and cook do not allow it

to color.

  • Whisk in the warm milk and bring to the boil whisking constantly to avoid lumps.

And the onion.

  • Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 10 mins, whisking constantly and scraping

the base and sides to prevent the sides from sticking

  • Strain.

Note: when cooking a large amount its advisable to cover and cook in a moderate oven

(300  degree  f)  for  30  –  40  minutes,  stirring  from  time  to  time.  Nutmeg is often,

classically added as a flavoring).If the sauce is not to be used immediately, DOT it with butter .This butter will melt over the surface and will prevent the sauce from skin formation .Alternatively, press directly the cling film against the surface to prevent the skin formation.


Cream sauce 

Chopped onions  are  reduced with white wine and  then  cream  is  reduced  in  the  same

pan. Now some béchamel sauce is added & whisked in. More cream is added till correct

consistency is obtained and the sauce is then strained.

Sauce Mornay

Grated Cheddar cheese is added to cream sauce and it is strained.

Sauce Fine herbs

To  cream  sauce,  some  chopped  tarragon,  parsley  and  chervil  are  added.  In  place  of

chervil we often use thyme.

Chilly mornay 

Some  bell  peppers  are  lightly  sautéed  in  olive  oil,  &  paprika  powder  is  added  to  it.

Mornay sauce is poured over this till the flavor is obtained & it is then strained out.

Sauce Nantua

To cream sauce, add very fine crayfish butter and small cooked crayfish tails.


A Veloute sauce is often made from the liquid used in cooking the main ingredient, such as that used in poaching fish and chicken or for veal , as in a Blanquette. Additional liquid is added to the blond roux at the beginning to make a very thin sauce.Simmering for 15 minutes to 1 hour thickens the sauce and intensifies the the flavour. The long slow process of cooking gives it a velvety texture and consistency—– hence the name Veloute or Velvety.Stir the sauce frequently to prevent scorching and skim from time to time.


White Stock ……         350 ml.


Butter …….                   40grms.

Refined flour…              40 grms.

Double Cream / Cream Fraich … 20 ml.

Lime juice…..                ½ tsp.

Seasonings…..               to taste.

Method :

  1. In a small sauce pan ,over a medium heat,bring the stock to boil.
  2. Melt butter in a pan ,add flour and cook gently off and on the flame the blond roux to a golden straw colour by stirring contantly.Remove the pan fron the heat and cool slightly.
  3. Whisk in the stock slowly and return the pan to the heat.Bring to boil slowly and stir continuously till the right consistency is achieved.
  4. Simmer the sauce gently by stirring from time to time.
  5. Add seasonings and finish with egg yolk and cream liaison.


Sauce Allemande

Quiet  simply,  this  is  a  veloute  thickened with  egg  yolks  and  flavored with mushroom

liquor, lemon juice, pepper and nutmeg. (This sauce is also known as sauce Parisienne)

Sauce Supreme  

This  is  a  chicken  veloute  enriched with  cream.  It  should  be  very  white  in  color  and

delicate in flavor. 101

Sauce Ivore

To  one-liter  sauce  supreme,  add  three-tbs.  melted  light  colored  meat  glaze,  just

sufficient to give the acquired ivory tint to the sauce. Suitable for serving with poultry.

Sauce Normande

To fish veloute-add mushroom liquor and cooking liquor from mussels and fish stock, all

in  equal  proportions,  a  few  drops  of  lemon  juice  and  a  thickening  of  egg  yolks with

cream. Reduce  this  to  1/3  of  its  volume.  Pass  through  a  fine  strainer  and  finish with

some more cream butter. This can be used for a large numbers. of fish dishes.

Sauce Joinville 

Prepare  Sauce  Normande  and  finish  with  equal  parts  of  crayfish  butter  and  shrimp

butter instead of cream and butter.

Points to be remembered

When ever the above sauces are served with chicken,veal,fish or shell fishes,they are seasoned to taste with salt and pepper and adjusted for consistency to suit the requirements.Again the above sauces  are used for a glazed dish,egg yolk or a sabayon should be added to the sauce just prior to glazing.Once egg yolk has been added do not reboil,other wise the sauce will separate.


Mix yolk of egg with a few drops of water and whisk over bain-mari to ribbon stage.used to enrich sauce and assist when a glazed appearance is required.


The most famous brown sauce ,Espagnole , is made with a rich brown stock and a gently cooked brown roux.Although rich sauce is robust , yet fine  and well flavoured.It is time consuming and requires skills.A brown roux is tricky to make without scorching or separating.The sauce is intensified by adding fine original Spanish ham and tomato puree , which add to the glossy brown colour.Although it can be served by itself.It is also the base of many rich,dark French French sauce as ‘Demi glaze’,Sauce Robert and sauce Madira.

Now a days many chefs use a last moment thickner like arrowroot or potato starch,which produces a lighter sauce.


Mix 11/4kg of brown roux into 20 liters of brown stock,add mirepoix and tomato puree and then cook for 3-4 hours until it reduces by three.quarters,strain and use.


Cook equal quantities of espagnole and brown stock  until reduce by half,finished with a little fortified wine ,skim and strain.


Sauce  Chasseur 

Melt. butter in a small pan, add. chopped shallots and sliced mushrooms and sauté. Add white wine, reduced by ½, then add equal parts of tomato sauce and sauce demi-glaze .Add meat glaze, simmer gently and finish with chopped parsley (In some methods of preparing Sauce Chasseur some brandy is also added)

Sauce Bordelaise

Reduce  red wine  in a small pan with. Finely chopped shallots, a  little pepper, bay  leaf and  a  sprig  of  thyme  to ¾  .s  .Add  Sauce  Espagnole  and  allow  it  to  simmer  gently, skimming as necessary. Pass through a fine strainer and finish with. Melted meat glaze, the  juice  of ¼  lemon  and  50  gm.  Bone  marrow  cut  into  small  slices  or  dices  and poached. This sauce is especially suitable for serving with grilled red meats. (Originally this sauce was made with white wine but nowadays-red wine is always used)

Sauce Bourguignonne

Reduce  red wine  in  a  pan with  sliced  shallots,  a  few  parsley  stalks,  a  bay  leaf,  small sprig of thyme and mushroom trimming ½. . Pass through a fine strainer (u may thicken by  adding  beurre  manie).  Finish  at  the  last  moment  with  frozen  butter  and  a  little cayenne. This sauce is especially suitable for serving with egg and dishes designated a’ la bourguignonne.

Sauce Diable

Place white wine  in a pan. Add chopped  shallots and  reduce by 2/3. Add  sauce demi glaze and allow to simmer slightly for a few minutes then season the sauce strongly with cayenne pepper. This sauce is especially suitable for serving with grilled chicken.

NOTE;  Vinegar  may  be  used  instead  of  wine  and  chopped  fine  herbs  and  may  be

included in the reduction.

Sauce Piquante

Place white wine and the same amt of vinegar in a pan with chopped shallot, reduce by ½., Add sauce espagnole, bring to the boil and simmer gently, skimming as necessary for 10 min. Remove from the heat and finish with 2 tbsp. of chopped gherkins, tarragon, chervil and parsley. This sauce is usually served with boiled, roasted or grilled pork.

Sauce Poivrade

Heat oil  in a pan, add a mirepoix  comprising of. Carrots, onion,  little parsley stalks, a pinch  of  thyme  and  a  crushed  bay  leaf  and  cook  until  lightly  colored.  Moisten  with vinegar, & marinade  and  reduce  by  2/3.  Add.  sauce  espagnole  and  allow  to  simmer gently for 45 min.  A little before passing the sauce add crushed peppercorns and pass through  a  sieve  then  add  some  of  the marinade  again.  Bring  to  the  boil,  skim  and carefully  simmer  for  approx.  35 min.  so  as  to  reduce  the  sauce  to  required  quantity. Pass and finish with. butter.

Sauce Madeira

Reduce  sauce  demi  glaze  until  slightly  thickened.  Remove  from  the  heat  and  add Madeira wine Pass through a fine strainer and do not re boil.

Sauce au Porto

This  is  prepared  in  the  same  way  as Madeira  replacing  the Madeira wines  with  Port wine.

Sauce Robert 

Heat butter in a pan, add finely chopped onion and cook without coloring. Moisten with white wine and  reduce by 2/3. Add sauce demi glaze and simmer gently for 10-min. Pass the sauce through a fine strainer and finish away from the heat with a pinch of sugar and some English mustard diluted with a little water.  This sauce is usually served to accompany grilled pork.

 Sauce Vin rouge

Heat butter, add finely cut mirepoix and cook to a light brown color; moisten with good quality  red wine  and  reduce by ½. Add  some  crushed garlic  and  espagnole;  skim   & simmer carefully for 12-15 mins.  Pass  through a fine strainer and finish with butter, a little anchovy essence and a little cayenne pepper. This sauce is especially suitable for serving with fish.

Sauce Matelote

Place  red wine  court  –  bouillon  in  a  pan with mushroom  trimmings.  Reduce  by  two-thirds and  then add Espagnole. Simmer gently  for  a  few min and pass  through a  fine strainer. Finish the sauce with of and lightly season with cayenne pepper.


An emulsion is a colloidal dispersion of tiny droplets of one liquid suspended in another to form a homogeneous mixture.

The emulsified sauce includes ingredients most often egg or egg yolk and a fat such as butter or oil which normally do not form a stable suspension of mixture.By vigorous beating or shaking,the ingredients can be emulsified  to form a smooth sauce in stable suspension.The most important emulsified sauce are Hollandaise,a warm sauce and Mauonnaise a cold sauce.Bearnaise is made in the same way as Hollandaise,but is flavoured with a reduction of viniger,shallots and tarragon which gives its characteristic sweet tangy flavour.Quality of all these sauces depend on using the best egg and butter or oil.Emulsified sauce is famous for being difficult because they separate or curdle so easily.


Clarified butter is a way of separating the milky fat solids ( whey)from the pure butter fat.Once clarified it can be served as a simple sauce,used for frying or to help to stabilize sauce like Hollandaise and Bearnaise.Put the butter in a small pan and melt over a low heat; do not allow the butter to boil.Remove the pan the heat and tilt the pan slightlyUsing a flat spoon .skim off anyn foam from the surface.Pour into a small bowl.leaving the milky solids behind.Cool ,if recipe directs.


Hollandaise and  its variations  are opaque, but  the  sauce  should have a  luster and not appear oily. They should have a smooth texture. A grainy texture indicates over cooking  of  the  egg  yolks.  It  should  have  light  consistency  and  at  times  almost appears frothy.

1 table spoon of cold water,few  milled pepper corn

Pinch of cayenne

Pinch of salt to season

2 egg yolks

5 ml Viniger / lemon juice

120 ml of clarified butter.

How to make?

  1. Prepare a reduction of with vinegar / lemon juice and pepper corns in a pan,reduce to half.Swill the pan with cold water and allow to cool.
  2. Place egg yolk and strained reduction into a mixing bowl and whisk to a ribbon stage over a bain marie.
  3. Gradually whisk in the melted butter until the reduction is formed.
  4. Add salt,caynne and lime juice.


This sauce is made in much the same way as Hollandaise sauce, but a pungent reduction is made before adding the egg yolks and butter. The reduction should be reduced to about 1 table spoon.


(This is not a mother sauce)


Wine vinegar                        120 ml

White wine                           120 ml

Shallots,  finely chopped         6 med

Tarragon finely chopped        1 tbs

Parsley finely chopped           1 tbs

Chervil finely chopped           3 tbs

Crushed pepper                    1 tbs



Egg yolks                           6-8 nos.

Clarified butter                   500 gm

  • Make a reduction of all ings n A till 2/3.
  • Separate egg yolks, add reduction and a little water and beat slightly to a froth.
  • Put on a double boiler and beat till it thickens, over a low heat.
  • Remove from  heat  and  beat  the  clarified  butter  into  it  very  gradually  till  it


  • Season.

    Points to be remembered

Faults :

  1. Scrambled appearance of sauce due to coagulation ,shrinking and hardening of egg protein at around 550C (1580F) ,so care must be taken to :
    1. ensure that egg yolk do not become too hot when whisking to ribbon stage over the double boiler.
    2. Prevent the melted butter over heating before adding to the egg yolk.
    3. Prevent the sauce from over heating prior to service.
  2. Curdled sauce which may be the the result of the following reasons :
    1. insufficient agitation during mixing
    2. too much mechanical agitation which breaks down the the protective layer of emulsifying agent.
    3. Adding melted butter too quickly to the egg mixture.
    4. Using in correct formula.
    5. Using egg yolks which lack sufficient emulsifying agent e.g. stale egg yolks.

To over come the above mentioned points,care must be taken to :

  1. ensure that the melted butter is not added too quickly to the to the egg yolks.
  2. Whisking briskly when adding the melted butter.
  3. Prepare sauce just before the service.
  4. Ensure fresh eggs are used.

Rectifications :

  1. place a small amount of boiling water into a clean bowl.Gradually whisk the curdled mixture on to the water.
  2. Place fresh egg yolks into a clean bowl.Gradually whisk in the curdled mixture on to the yolk ,whisk gently over a bain-marie.


Sauce Choron

Prepare  a  Sauce  Béarnaise,  omitting  the  final  addition  of  tarragon  and  chervil  and keeping  it  fairly  thick,  add upped  a  quarter  of  its  volume  of  tomato puree which  has been  well  concentrated  or  reduced  in  order  that  the  addition  will  not  alter  the consistency of the sauce.

Sauce Foyot

Prepare  a  Sauce  Béarnaise,  keeping  it  fairly  thick  and  finish  with melted meat  glaze added little at a time.

Sauce Maltaise

Prepare  a  Sauce  Hollandaise  and  at  the  last  moment  add  the  juice  of  2  oranges (reduced) and a good pinch of grated zest. Goes well with asparagus.

Sauce Palois

Prepare a Béarnaise but while doing this replace the principle flavoring of tarragon with the same quantity of mint  in  the  reduction of white wine and vinegar and  replace  the chopped tarragon with chopped mint at the final stage.

Sauce Mousseline(Chantilly)

Prepare  Sauce  Hollandaise  and  at  the  last  moment  carefully  mix  in.  stiffly  whipped cream.


This delicious sauce is used in salads,sandwiches and as apart of other sauces.It can be varied by using different oils,herbs and other flavourings.Mayonnaise can also be made in a blender,food processer or with an electric mixer.Make sauce that all the ingredients are in room temperature.If making by hand,set the bowl on a towel to stop it sliding around.

Remember, mayonnaise is made with raw egg yolk which can harbour ‘Salmonella’ bacteria. Pregnant women, children and the elderly should avoid under cooked or raw eggs.


This is a cold, emulsified sauce, used extensively in the Garde Manger.

Egg yolks                                       2

Oil (Olive oil,vegetable oil

Or half of each)                             360 ml



Mustard (Dijon)


White vinegar /Lemon juice        15 ml

  • Bring all the ingredients to room temp.
  • Combine the yolks and seasoning and beat a little.
  • Add the oil very slowly and keep beating till and emulsion is formed.
  • Add the vinegar/lime juice and check seasoning.

Points to remembered

Faults :

Unstable emulsion caused due to …..

A .When the ingredients have been at too low a temperature,thus preventing the emulsifying agents from coating the oil successfully.

B .By  using stale egg yolks which consequently provide insufficient agent.

  1. By inadequate whisking when adding oil to the egg yolks,thus preventing even distribution of oil into egg.
  2. By adding oil too quickly in the initial stages of preparations,thus prevent a thorough mixing of yolks and oil resulting in the sauce separations.
  3. By using incorrect formula balance.

How to correct a curdled Mayonnaise Sauce?

Mix the unstable emulsion on to a fresh egg yolk or on to a few drops of boiling water.Use a clean bowl and proceed as for making Mayonnaise.


Sauce Tartare

To mayonnaise sauce add chopped gherkins, capers, shallots, parsley, chives.

Sauce Verte 

Blanch rapidly for five minutes spinach and watercress & a mixture of parsley, tarragon and chervil drain well. Refresh quickly and squeeze out all  the water. Pound the leaves then squeeze them firmly in a clean cloth so as to obtain a thick herb juice. Add this to well seasoned mayonnaise.

Sauce Mousquetaire

To mayonnaise  add  finely  chopped  shallots  which  have  been  cooked  and  completely reduced with white wine, some melted meat glaze and chopped chives. Season the sauce with a touch of cayenne or milled pepper.

Sauce Remoulade

To mayonnaise  add  and mix  in Mustard,  chopped  gherkins,  chopped  capers,  parsley tarragon and chervil and some anchovy essence.

Sauce Casanova         

Add chopped truffle and shallots, sieved hard-boiled egg to Mayonnaise.

Sauce Gribiche

Mix cooked yolks of egg with mustard, salt, and pepper and gradually add oil and vinegar as for Mayonnaise. Garnish with chopped Capers, gherkins and fine herbs along with the julienne of hard-boiled egg white.


This preparation are used to accompany a variety of grilled meat or fish dishes. Also, it adds interest and flavor to various products.They are easily prepared in advance and stored refrigerated in readiness for use.

Cream butter until soft, combine with flavorings and seasonings to taste. Roll in dampened greaseproof paper to a cylindrical shape, approximately 2 ½ cm wide. Store refrigerated but not frozen.

It may be utilized in the following way…

  1. add to the sauce to enhance flavor.
  2. in the preparation of a culinary product e.g. snails in garlic butter.
  3. place on hot food for service e.g. grilled steak.
  4. place in a sauceboat of iced water to keep the butter solid in a hot atmosphere.


Anchovy Butter: add anchovy essence /paste / pounded to butter.

Garlic Butter: chopped garlic ,parsley,pinch of pepper combined with butter.

Basil Butter        : add a fine puree of fresh basil leaves and a little lemon juice with butter.

Colbert Butter      : mix chopped tarragon and meat glaze in to Maiter d’hotel butter.

Maiter d’hotel Butter : add chopped parsley,seasonings and lime juice to butter.

Ravigote Butter :  pound blanched herbs and shallots,pass through a sieve and add to soften butter.

Bercy Butter     :  reduce chopped shallots in wine,add butter,bone marrow,chopped parsley and lemon juice.

Cray fish Butter : pulverize crayfish dedris,add butter and pass through a sieve.

Red wine Butter : reduce shallots in  red wine and add to butter with seasonings,lemon juice and chopped parsley.

Nutty Butter      : add finely chopped peanuts,the slices of butter may be dipped in chopped nuts.


Hot butter sauces are often used with vegetables, fish, meat offals and poultry dishes. They can be served to complete a dish or as an accompaniment e.g. Poisson Meuniere,beurre meuniere to complete;beurre fondue to accompany asparagus etc.


Beurre Noisette: Heat butter until brown and pour over the food on the dish,if desired a little lemon juice may be added.This butter is frequently used in conjuction with jus lie for shallow fried food.

Beurre Noire: Heat butter until it begins colour brown,add a few drops of vinegar and pour over the food.Capers and chopped parsley may be added at the last moment.

Beurre Blanc: Cook chopped shallots in a little water, gradually adding the juice of lemon as it evaporates. Whisk butter in small pieces at a time, keeping the pan in a bain-marie of water until the lemon sauce become white and frothy. Serve at once and do not allow to become too warm.

Beurre Rouge: Make as Beurre Blanc by using red wine.

Beurre Fondue: Heat butter until warm and just melted, add lemon juice and served immediately.

Beurre Meuniere: As for Beurre Noisette  garnish with chopped parsley.

Sauce au Beurre : Add flour to melted butter then boiling salted water to make a smooth sauce.add a liaison of egg yolk,cream and lemon juice,allow to thicken  and finish with plenty of butter added in pieces at the last moment.Served with poached fish,asparaguds etc.


Except the above mentioned sauces there are many sauces which are prepared independently.They are as follows……..

  • Jus lie ——— Thickened gravy.
  • Sauce Kari——- Curry sauce.
  • Sauce Portugaise—— Sauce Portuguese.
  • Sauce Brigade——- Orange flavoured sauce.
  • Sauce Homard——- Lobster sauce.
  • Sauce Bologonaise—— Sauvory meat sauce.
  • Sauce Pommes——- Apple sauce.
  • Sauce Pain———– Bread sauce.
  • Sauce Menthe——- Mint sauce.

Contemporary Sauces

The broad category of contemporary sauces includes beurre blanc, coulis, compound butters and a variety of miscellaneous sauces, such as relishes, salsas and compotes. The primary factors distinguishing contemporary sauces from the grand sauces are the following –

  • They usually take less time to prepare.
  • They are more likely to be specifically tailored to be a given food or technique.
  • They have a lighter color, texture and flavor than some of the grand sauces.
  • They are more likely to be thickened and finished using emulsions, modified starches or reduction and less likely to contain roux.

Some of the popular contemporary sauces are:

  • Roasted Tomato Coulis.
  • Tomatillo Salsa Verde.
  • Red Pepper and corn relish.
  • Rosemary Oil.
  • Basil Oil.
  • Chemichurri sauce.
  • Red onion marmalade.


Sauce is a French word taken from the Latin Salus, meaning salt. No surprise given that salt is used to enhance the flavour of food. There are hundreds of sauces that fall under five main categories. They are béchamel (milk based) example Alfredo sauce, espagnole (brown stock based) example Mushroom sauce, veloute (white stock based) example Lyonnaise sauce, tomato (tomato based) example Marinara sauce and emulsified (hollandaise and mayonnaise) example Béarnaise sauce, tartar sauce. As you can see each of these sauce categories begin with a fundamental base. An all inclusive quality cook book will provide you with the ingredients and methods for which to prepare these sauces.

Behind sauce is a holdover from sauteing — deglazing. Deglaze is a single word that means to loosen the cooked-on drippings in your roasting pan by adding liquid and boiling it on the highest heat. When meats cook, their drippings leave a “glaze,” which appears as stray bits of food that stick to the bottom of the roasting pan. You might think they’re burnt, but these particles are the hidden flavor in many sauces — that is, if you can deglaze (or if you prefer, unglaze) the pan.

You’ll be deglazing in the same pan the meat roasted in, so think ahead. Don’t roast in glass. Instead use stainless steel, enamel-covered cast iron, graniteware, or other alloyed materials which, after time in the oven can endure the direct heat from a burner.

To make the sauce: Pour anything that moves (liquids and juices) out of the roasting pan into a measuring cup, but don’t scrape the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate the cup and put the roasting pan on a burner. In about 5 minutes, take the cup out of the refrigerator and spoon off as much fat as you can — it’s OK if you’ve still got a little bit. Pour whatever juices remain in the cup into the roasting pan. The pan will hold very little contents at this time. Turn the burner to high. When you see bubbling, add some stock, water, or red or white wine (from 1/2 to 1 cup). Enjoy the show of smoke, a sign that things are going nicely. Use a wooden spatula to scrape the pan clean as the liquid bubbles. Stir and scrape about 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the liquid cleans itself up and about one-third of it has boiled away. Take a taste. If it needs salt or pepper, add now. Turn off the heat. If the sauce still has little pieces of browned bits, and these are annoying to you, pour the sauce through a mini-strainer held over a serving pitcher.

The longer the liquid boils, the more condensed the flavor, and the less sauce you’ll have. It is not uncommon to end up with half as much sauce as the original volume of liquid. That’s why a sauce of this type is called a “reduction.”

Gravy on the other hand takes its characteristic flavour from the fat and juices (drippings) of a roasted piece of meat. Once the roast is done and removed from the pan, skim off the majority of the fat. Place the roasting pan on the stove on medium heat. Sprinkle or dust with all-purpose flour and mix well to create what is known as  roux. Add hot vegetable water or broth and simmer until gravy is smooth in texture and there is no longer an uncooked flour taste. Season with salt and pepper and you have the perfect gravy.

Tip: Today there are many commercially prepared sauce and gravy mixes available in powder and liquid form your local grocer. These will work fine in a pinch, but there is nothing better than preparing your own gravy or sauce derivation.

Gravy is made from pan juices, too, but more importantly, relies on the thickening power of flour or cornstarch. In this method, we’ll be using flour.

Gravy can be lean because the pan juices, which contain fat, can be nearly completely de-fatted in a short time. Even if pan juices can be chilled 5 to 15 minutes in a measuring cup, fat will be quite visible as a yellow layer hanging over the remaining liquid. Depending on what you’ve roasted, you might end up with more fat than juice, as with duck.

To make gravy: After roasting a turkey or piece of meat, scrape everything that’s in the pan into a glass 2-cup measuring cup and refrigerate 5 to 15 minutes. Spoon off the golden layer of fat. A bulb baster will suck it up easily.

After the fat is gone, add tap water until you’ve got 1 1/2 to 2 cups, and pour it all into a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, uncovered. Boil until nearly half of it cooks away. Dissolve 3 tablespoons flour in 3 tablespoons cold water until a smooth paste forms. Slowly pour and stir the flour paste, a little at a time, into the boiling juices until gravy becomes as thick as you like. You may not have to add all of it! Add salt and pepper, and gravy is yours!

Amit Kumar
Amit Kumar
Hii! Welcome to My digital home, I am Amit – an almost no-code generalist, helping businesses with their online presence using WordPress and other tools and simplifying some of their operations with ideas and automation. A psychology and philosophy geek by interest and a graduate in Hospitality Management. I founded hmhelp during college, which got me into WordPress. I am a highly motivated and results-oriented professional with a proven track record of success in the hospitality industry. I’m also a Digital Marketing Enthusiast with significant academic and practical experience managing digital content across multiple platforms. Skilled at SEO optimization, developing digital content for social media platforms, I offer extensive knowledge of multiple software programs, strong attention to detail, and extraordinary communication skills. If you are interested in talking about any of the topics I have mentioned on my website, you are in the right place. You can contact me or learn more about what I do. You can also connect with me on social networks.

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