Today, I learned how to make the Mother Sauces of French Cuisine, which inspired me to create this post. First, we’ll start with the Mother Sauces and their derivatives.

What are the mother sauces?

The mother sauces are a tradition in French cooking, dating back to the 19th century. From there, adding additional ingredients to the base creates new sauces, sometimes nicknamed “daughter” sauces.

The French Sauces and their derivatives:

Sauce Béchamel, made with equal parts flour and butter, with heated milk gradually being stirred in. The sauce can also be simmered with cut onion, salt and pepper, cloves, and a bay leaf.

  • Cream (heavy cream)
  • Mornay (cheese)
  • Mustard (mustard)
  • Cheddar Cheese (cheddar, worcestershire, and dry mustard)
  • Nantua (crayfish, butter, and cream)
  • Soubise (cooked onions, you can also choose to add pureed tomatoes for an extra kick)

Sauce Espagnole, made with a dark brown roux, add veal stock or water.

  • Africaine (tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, with herbs such as basil, thyme, and bay leaf, reduced in wine then added)
  • Bigarde (add bitter orange)
  • Bourguignonne (parsley, thyme and bay leaf, mounted with butter and seasoned with cayenne)
  • Bordelaise (red wine, shallots, thyme, pepper, and bay leaf)
  • Marchand De Vin (red wine and shallots)
  • Robert (white wine, onions, shallots, and sugar, could go further and add pickles)
  • Chasseur (mushrooms, white wine, and tomato)
  • Diable (wine, shallots, pepper, and cayenne)
  • Piquante (wine, shallots, vinegar, capers, pickles, parsley and tarragon)
  • Bigarde (orange and lemon juice)
  • Lyonnaise (onions and vinegar)

Sauce Velouté, made of white stock , and white roux.

  • Poulette (parsley and lemon juice)
  • Hungarian (paprika, white wine, and onion)
  • Curry (curry powder, white wine, garlic, thyme, and cream)
  • Normandy (mushroom and oyster liquid, egg yolks, cream and butter)
  • Horseradish (horseradish, cream, dry mustard, and vinegar)
  • Venetian (white vinegar, tarragon, and shallots)

Sauce Hollandaise, a sauce of egg yolk and butter, with lemon juice and a little salt.

  • Bearnaise (tarragon, shallots, vinegar, and peppercorns)
  • Mousseline (whipped liquid cream)
  • Dijon (Dijon Mustard)
  • Maltaise (orange zest and blood orange)

Sauce Tomate, made of tomato, stock, and optional roux.

  • Spanish (onion, hot pepper, garlic and sauteed mushrooms)
  • Portugaise (tomatoes, onions and garlic reduction)
  • Creole (onion, celery, pepper, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, lemon, and cayenne)

So now, I ask, have you made any of these sauces? Have you made your own? What do you recommend them on? Do you have recommendations?