In the classic French kitchen, the saucier station is the last stop or stage in the training of your apprenticeship. Traditional sauce-making has long been considered to be mystifying and challenging and quite frankly, very old school. Is it even necessary knowledge for today’s home cook? Well, you decide.
Modern sauce-making may be rooted in classic techniques but it all comes down to the ability to manage a few simple basic skills that anyone can master. Sauces are about adding flavor and life to your meal. Properly made sauces actually make your food dance off your plate. And they take far less time to make than you would otherwise think. So yes, they are just as important today as ever.
The Five Classic Mother Sauces are Bechemal, Veloute, Espagnole, Hollandaise and either Mayonnaise or Sauce Tomate, depending on how you were trained. It is from these five that all secondary sauces are made. But these sound obsolete. Aren’t they too heavy and out-of-style for today’s simpler fare? Absolutely not! For the techniques for these classic sauces are the same as those necessary to make mac & cheese, gravy, demi-glace, mayo and spaghetti. Can you live without any of those? Wouldn’t it be fun to be able to whip up any or all in a jiffy? There’s no reason why you can’t! Now, add a little salsa and vinaigrette to your repertoire and your meals will always be saucy!