Veloute 101

Veloute is considered to be the first mother sauce of French cuisine. The recipe was first written down in Antonin Careme’s infamous book of cookery “The Art of French Cooking.” Sauces were originally developed for several reasons, which include enhancing flavor and tenderizing meat. Veloute is one of the first modern sauces and is made similarly to Bechamel. Also known as blond sauce, the term Veloute is derived from the French word for velvet. Learn classic French cooking techniques to cook comfortably with this staple sauce. Here is a basic guide to creating and cooking with Veloute.

Veloute recipe
Like Bechamel, Veloute starts with a roux. The main difference between the two sauces is that Veloute uses white stock as a liquid while Bechamel calls for milk. A simple Veloute recipe requires the following ingredients:

  • 2 cups white stock (Veloute is traditionally made with veal stock. However, chicken or fish stock will do.)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Melt down the butter until it is frothy. Add the flour and stir frequently to create a roux. Veloute is darker than Bechamel, so allow the roux to cook until it develops a golden color. Whisk in the stock in 1/2 cup increments until the mixture is smooth. Then, add the desired amount of salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for around 20 minutes.

Daughter sauces
Listed below are descriptions of some of the daughter sauces derived from Veloute. Look up individual recipes for the exact portions you’ll need to create these sauces for a variety of dishes.

  • White wine sauce: Begin with a fish Veloute, add white wine, heavy cream and lemon juice.
  • Sauce allemande: This sauce is based off a veal Veloute with the addition of a few drops of lemon juice, cream and egg yolks.
  • Sauce Normandy: After cooking a fish Veloute, add mushroom and oyster liquids along with cream and egg yolks.
  • Sauce Ravigote: Lemon juice and white wine vinegar make this daughter sauce more acidic. Onions, shallots or mustard are usually added. It can be served warm or cold.
  • Sauce Poulette: Start with any variation of Veloute, add mushrooms, parsley and lemon juice.
  • Supreme Sauce: This daughter sauce uses a chicken Veloute with the addition of mushroom liquor and cream.
  • Sauce Bercy: ​With a fish Veloute base, this sauce requires the addition of white wine, shallots, lemon juice and parsley.
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