General Information on Sauces

Appears in
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

  • About

Well-prepared sauces, a crucial component of French cuisine, are the primary reason for its renown. In the classical repertoire, sauces are defined as any liquid that intensifies, adds moisture to, and/or enriches the dish for which it is a component. A sauce is generally begun with a flavor base such as a mirepoix or other aromatic vegetables, herbs, spices, or other highly flavored ingredients sautéed in fat such as butter or bacon. These aromatics are then cooked with the designated stock, as well as any additional flavoring enhancements, for a prescribed period of time, skimmed frequently, and strained. Almost all of the classic sauces are based on stocks that have been thickened with some kind of liaison (binding agent) and finished with wine, liqueur, herbs, spices, or other aromatic elements used to enhance the base flavor.