Meat Stocks and Sauces

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
There are several general strategies for making meat and fish sauces. The simplest of them center on the juices produced when the meat for the final dish is cooked, which can be flavored and/or thickened at the last minute with purees, emulsions, or a starch-based mixture. In the more versatile system developed by French cooks, one begins by making a water extract of meat and bones ahead of time, and then uses that stock to cook the final dish, or concentrates it to make intensely flavored, full-bodied sauces. These stocks and concentrates used to be the heart of restaurant cooking. They’re less important now, but still represent the state of the art in meat sauces.