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The 15 sauces that every cook has to know how to make

21 mayo, 2021

Those of you who saw Masterchef yesterday will know that the expulsion test consisted of preparing a dish giving the sauce the leading role. Although it seems like a secondary element, a sauce can spoil a recipe or elevate it to the seventh heaven, and not everyone knows how to prepare them correctly. So today we are going to show you the 15 sauces that every cook has to know how to make and in which dishes you can use them.

When referring to sauces, French gastronomy cannot be omitted. The famous 19th century French chef Marie Antoine-Carême, in his work L’art de la cuisine française, was the first to organize them into four fundamental sauces. Later another French chef, Auguste Escoffier, added one more sauce, so that there were now five “mother sauces”, which he codified in recipe form in Le Guide Culinaire in 1903.

What makes a sauce a sauce?

Basically, the liquid needs to be thickened so that it covers and clings to the food rather than being detached from it. Thickening can occur by cooking and reducing things like tomato sauce, which naturally thickens as moisture evaporates, but other sauces need a little help.

This is where the roux comes in. Roux is basically cooking the fat and flour together before adding the liquid to make the mixture rise. The fat generally used is butter, but oil or other fats can also be used. The fat and flour are cooked together to a very dark paste, with a slightly nutty flavor, when the liquid is added and brought to a boil, the flour thickens the liquid and a delicious sauce is obtained.

Four of the five mother sauces are thickened by a roux, so it is important to know what it consists of and how it is prepared.

The five mother sauces

One of the first things a cooking student learns is how to prepare the five mother sauces, as they are the basis for other sauces and many dishes. These base sauces are: bechamel, Spanish, Dutch, tomato and velouté, and are used all over the world in restaurants, hotels and professional kitchens.

When it comes to bae sauces, it is important to know and master them, especially for gastronomy professionals. When we prepare our own sauces, we are controlling the quality of the dish, both in flavor and ingredients.

1. Hollandaise sauce

Hollandese sauce

This is the only mother sauce not thickened by a roux. Instead, it is thickened by an emulsion of egg yolk and melted butter, which means that it is a stable mixture of two things that usually do not usually mix, which is why it is a very delicate sauce, because the emulsion can break easily.

  • Ingredients: 2 egg yolks, 250 gr of clarified butter, 2 tablespoons of lemon and salt.

  • preparation: We start by assembling the yolks, if it is a bowl in a bain-marie better. We add the lemon juice. When they have doubled their volume, we will gradually add the clarified butter, achieving an emulsion that is close to mayonnaise in consistency. Finally we add the salt.

Link | Direct to the Palate

In which recipes to use hollandaise sauce:

2. Béchamel sauce

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It consists of a roux beaten with milk to obtain a white sauce. The amount of butter and flour must be the same and the amount of milk depends on the consistency of the sauce that we want, if we want it more liquid it will be enough to add more milk. Nutmeg is the characteristic seasoning of bechamel. If we add an egg yolk and grated cheese to a béchamel, we will obtain a Mornay sauce.

  • Ingredients: 1 liter of whole milk, 60-80 g of butter, 60-80 g of flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

  • preparation: Melt the butter, mix with the flour and stir for a minute over medium heat. Then we set aside and let the roux cool. When the milk is boiling, add it to the roux little by little, mixing and dissolving all possible lumps. When we are done we put it back on the fire. Let it cook, stirring from time to time, for about 10 minutes. At the end we add the salt, the freshly ground black pepper and the nutmeg.

Link | Bechamel sauce recipe

In which recipes to use the bechamel sauce:

3. Velouté sauce

Veloute sauce

A velouté sauce, like bechamel, begins with a simple white roux but to which chicken, turkey, fish or beef broth is added. The resulting sauce takes on the flavor of the broth, and the name is derived from the French word for velvet, which aptly describes this smooth yet light and delicate sauce. It is usually served over fish or poultry that has been delicately cooked, such as by poaching or steaming.

  • Ingredients: 1/2 liter of fish stock or white background, 100 ml of milk, 30 g of butter and 30 g of flour.

  • preparation: We will start by making the roux. The roux is nothing more than a mixture of flour and lightly toasted butter. Depending on the preparation, the level of toasting will be higher or lower. In this way we obtain white, blonde or dark roux. Understanding the white ones as the least cooked and the dark ones, the most cooked. For the velouté sauce we are interested in toasting it as little as possible. Leaving it blonde or even white, almost uncooked. Next we are adding our broth. In this case it is a fish stock, we will gradually add the broth, as if we were making a bechamel. Although we are interested in making the velouté much more liquid. We want a thick sauce, not as thick as a béchamel. But on other occasions, maybe we can make a much thicker velouté. We cook about 10 at the end, adding if necessary a little more broth at the end.

Link | Velouté sauce recipe

In which recipes to use velouté sauce:

4. Spanish sauce

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Spanish sauce (also known as Brown sauce) begins with a combination of carrots, celery, and onion that is stirred in a skillet. It is combined with a roux, meat broth, tomato paste, garlic, fresh tomato, a bouquet garni and spices and cooks for at least 3 hours. Some purists add lard with carrots and onions. It is a very heavy and rich sauce that goes well with roast beef and mushrooms.

  • Ingredients: 40 g of flour, 40 g of butter or olive oil and 3/4 of a liter of dark background. To enrich the Spanish sauce and give it a fresh touch, we can use an onion, a carrot, a leek and a branch of celery.

  • preparation: In a saucepan, melt the butter and toast the flour until it turns dark. In the event that we want to add the optional ingredients, melt the butter and fry the vegetables. Then we add the flour and let it take color. Finally we add the dark background and let it cook until it binds and begins to thicken. We go through the Chinese and serve our sauce with the dish we have chosen.

Link | Spanish sauce

In which recipes to use Spanish sauce:

5. Tomato sauce


A classic tomato sauce combines fresh onions, garlic, and tomatoes, with the addition of various herbs and spices. The principle behind most tomato sauces is reduction that concentrates flavors. Tomato sauce is the perfect and preferred sauce to eat with pasta.

  • Ingredients: 2 kg of ripe pear-type tomato, 3 carrots, 2 green peppers, 1 large onion, extra virgin olive oil, salt, sugar.

  • preparation: We wash and dry the tomatoes. We take out some part of them, if necessary or it is ugly, and we chop them up. In a saucepan we put a little olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and julienned peppers, and the carrots in thin slices. Sauté everything until the onion turns brown, so the sauce will have more flavor. Add the chopped tomato and simmer, stirring occasionally, for an hour. We pass the sauce through the food processor and return to the fire. We will leave it for another hour, taking care that it does not stick. Add salt and add a pinch of sugar if it is very acidic. We turn off the heat, fill the jars with the tomato sauce and leave uncovered until they cool completely. If we want to freeze the jars, we will leave a space of two centimeters up to the edge, since when the liquid freezes, its volume will increase and in this way we prevent the jar from bursting.

Link | Ketchup

In which recipes to use tomato sauce:

Other sauces that you cannot miss

Mayonnaise sauce

Mayonnaise Sauce

Link | Mayonnaise sauce recipe

Barbecue sauce

Barbecue sauce

Link | Barbecue sauce recipe

Yogurt sauce

Yogurt Sauce


salsa Vinaigrette

Link | Vinaigrette sauce recipe

Bolognese sauce

Bolognese sauce

Pepper sauce

Pepper Sauce

Link | Pepper sauce recipe

Cheese sauce

Pesto sauce

Pesto sauce

Link | Pesto sauce recipe

Ketchup sauce

Ketchup sauce

Link | Ketchup sauce recipe


Mojo sauce

Photography | Pixabay Directly to the Paladar | 11 sauces (take bread and wet) to accompany our dishes this Christmas