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Old 04-04-2006, 01:45 PM   #1
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What are the basic MOTHER sauces?

Please list, and any info on each would also help.
thanks, Gary

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Old 04-04-2006, 01:58 PM   #2
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The classical versions are as follows:

Veloute - Stock thickened with roux
Bechamel - Milk thickened with roux
Tomato - Self explanatory
Espagnole - Brown sauce, made with roux, veal stock, roasted veal bones and mire poix
Hollandaise - Heated egg yolk and clarified butter

For more info, click on the link below. It says that mayonnaise was added to make 6 mother sauces but that's news to me. I've never heard about that.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sauce#S...French_cuisine

A more contemporary definition of mother sauces would be something like this:

Vinaigrette
Demi Glace
Beurre Blanc
Aioli/Mayonnaise
Sauce a la Creme (Basic heavy cream reduction)
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Old 04-04-2006, 02:35 PM   #3
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Thanks iron chef. As usual your explanations and recipes are excellent.
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Old 04-06-2006, 08:42 PM   #4
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This a little something I picked up from researching the internet many, many moons ago. It is from a well respected site and pretty much explains the five mother sauces.

The Mother Sauces

Defining The Five Mother Sauces:

1. Béchamel, the classic white sauce, was named after its inventor, Louis XIV's steward Louis de Béchamel. The king of all sauces, it is often referred to as a cream sauce because of its appearance and is probably used most frequently in all types of dishes. Made by stirring milk into a butter-flour roux, the thickness of the sauce depends on the proportion of flour and butter to milk. The proportions for a thin sauce would be 1 tablespoon each of butter and flour per 1 cup of milk; a medium sauce would use 2 tablespoons each of butter and flour; a thick sauce, 3 tablespoons each.
2. Velouté is a stock-based white sauce. It can be made from chicken, veal or fish stock. Enrichments such as egg yolks or cream are sometimes also added.
3. Espagnole, or brown sauce, is traditionally made of a rich meat stock, a mirepoix of browned vegetables (most often a mixture of diced onion, carrots and celery), a nicely browned roux, herbs and sometimes tomato paste.
4. Hollandaise and Mayonnaise are two sauces that are made with an emulsion of egg yolks and fat. Hollandaise is made with butter, egg yolks and lemon juice, usually in a double boiler to prevent overheating, and served warm. It is generally used to embellish vegetables, fish and egg dishes, such as the classic Eggs Benedict. Mayonnaise is a thick, creamy dressing that's an emulsion of vegetable oil, egg yolks, lemon juice or vinegar and seasonings. It is widely used as a spread, a dressing and as a sauce. It's also used as the base for such mixtures as Tartar Sauce, Thousand Island Dressing, Aïoli, and Remoulade.
5. Vinagrette is a sauce made of a simple blend of oil, vinegar, salt and pepper (usually 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar). More elaborate variations can include any combination of spices, herbs, shallots, onions, mustard, etc. It is generally used to dress salad greens and other cold vegetable, meat or fish dishes.

Tips for Sauce Success:

* Constantly stir roux-thickened sauces while cooking to prevent lumps. If you must leave the sauce for a few seconds, set the pan off the heat during that time.
* If a roux-thickened sauce develops a few lumps, beat them out with a rotary beater or wire whisk. As a last resort, strain sauce with sieve to remove lumps.
* Cook egg-thickened sauces over low heat, or cook these sauces in the top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water. Always temper (warm) the egg yolks before adding them to the sauce by first stirring in a little of the hot sauce mixture into them. Then add to the remainder of the sauce mixture. Never let a sauce boil after the egg yolks are added as the sauce may curdle.
 Don't let water boil in the bottom of the double boiler if you use it to make egg-thickened sauces. Also, be sure that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the pan holding the sauce.


The only thing I would add is that in place of the vinagerette, there are those that claim tomato sauce is the fifth Mother Sauce. I just figure that there are six of them in reality. Why quibble over semantics?

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Old 04-06-2006, 10:11 PM   #5
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The five mother sauces as designated by Escoffier were bechamel, veloute, hollandaise, espagnole, and tomato. Generally, every culinary school and textbook follows this guideline. A previous French chef named Careme had designated four mother sauces which were veloute, bechamel, espagnol, and allemande. However, since sauce allemande is a derivitave of another mother sauce, it was removed.

Mayonnaise and vinaigrette were put on some lists at a later time, but is not recognized as part of the original quintet as designated by Escoffier. I myself use mayonnaise and vinaigrette's more than any of the original five mother sauces, but they are both considered contemporary mother sauces, and not really classical. Out of Escoffier's original 5, the only one that I use with any sort of frequency is hollandaise. I make tomato sauces, but they follow the Italian style of preperation and not the classic French style. It's not really a matter of semantics, it's more of a matter of authenticity.
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Old 04-06-2006, 11:10 PM   #6
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hmmm, I was going to make a joke about chocolate sauce ... but as I don't have a sweet tooth, I'll leave that to someone else.
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
The five mother sauces as designated by Escoffier were bechamel, veloute, hollandaise, espagnole, and tomato. Generally, every culinary school and textbook follows this guideline. A previous French chef named Careme had designated four mother sauces which were veloute, bechamel, espagnol, and allemande. However, since sauce allemande is a derivitave of another mother sauce, it was removed.

Mayonnaise and vinaigrette were put on some lists at a later time, but is not recognized as part of the original quintet as designated by Escoffier. I myself use mayonnaise and vinaigrette's more than any of the original five mother sauces, but they are both considered contemporary mother sauces, and not really classical. Out of Escoffier's original 5, the only one that I use with any sort of frequency is hollandaise. I make tomato sauces, but they follow the Italian style of preperation and not the classic French style. It's not really a matter of semantics, it's more of a matter of authenticity.
I agree. I'm not trying to say that you're wrong, and hope that that wasn't what was percieved. I had just read something different from what you had stated.

My knowledge wasn't obtained by profesional training, but by personal research obtained by diverse sources. And as you know, different authors will give different information. As you have been profesionaly trained, I will bow to your greater training.

For practicality's sake, I will include oil & vinigar in my list of mother-like sauces, as it is used to create a host of small sauces. But then, there are numerous sauces that aren't included in the original Escoffier listing, such as various barbecue sauces, marinades, and oriental preperations that Europeans had never heard of back in the day. There are also fruit and vegetable sauce basics that other sauces and gravies are made from, such as sweet & sour, plumb sauce, ginger paste, etc.

I could never calim to be an expert. There is just too much information out there for any one person to grasp. And there are valid recipes made by many that I have never heard of. When I look at differing world cuisines, I see dramatically different flavors in Morroco, India, Indonesia, and South America, that bear no resemblance to the classic French sauces.

The world is a big place. And there is so much to learn. That's what makes the cullinary arts so interesting.

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Old 04-07-2006, 01:50 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone,

I'm really impressed with the depth of knowledge here! I'm Still workin on white sauce. Guess everybody's got to start somewhere though.
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Old 04-07-2006, 04:45 PM   #9
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GW, it was never perceived that way. Like I said, I very rarely, if ever, use any of the Escoffier's original 5. But, for prosperities sake, his five should be recognized as the original five bases since he is generally credited as being the father of modern cooking.

Plus, I wanted to discuss it per your post in the cream soup thread. I think what most people have the hardest time with is that the sauces and designations are all French in origin. Like you said, it doesn't take into account the other base sauces from other cuisines.
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Old 04-07-2006, 10:32 PM   #10
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ironchef is correct-
Mother sauces are bechamel, hollandaise, veloute, tomato & espagnole. i'm in culinary school & have learned this from some of my first days as a student.
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