I love a good sauce. Even the most beautiful, flavoursome, delicious meat can be lifted by a good sauce. So I’ve been keen to get my hands on Michel Roux’s Sauces.
Michelin-starred Roux first wrote his compendium of savoury and sweet sauce recipes back in 1996. Quadrille have now published a new and revised edition of his comprehensive collection in which many recipes have been updated for today’s lighter, healthier tastes. Roux has also added 20 new recipes, not to mention many new photographs.
With two fabulous Paganum rib eye steaks in our possession, we opted to make the sauce suprême with sherry and mushrooms. Like many of the recipes in the book, this is based on another recipe, so we first made up the velouté sauce. (This in turn refers to Roux’s recipes for chicken stock or vegetable stock, also in the book, but instead we used some chicken stock we’d made and frozen a few weeks earlier.)
I say “we” opted to make… Actually, Pete was the chef, I just hovered around the kitchen, taking photos and making a nuisance of myself! (I did, at least, sort out the potatoes!)
The steps were easy to follow:
- For the velouté, first make a roux before adding chicken stock and cooking for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- For the sauce suprême, take your velouté, add cream and mushrooms, simmer for 10 minutes. If you’re following the recipe, strain to remove the mushrooms before whisking in some butter and finally adding in some dry sherry. Voilà!
As Pete was making the sauce, I cooked the steaks.
Our only mishap with the sauce is that Pete got it to an absolutely perfect, creamy consistency before adding the sherry. We hadn’t realised how much the sherry would thin the sauce, so our final sauce was thinner than we intended. We’ll remember next time to ensure that the sauce is a little thicker than we’d like it to be before adding the alcohol.
We also decided to leave the mushrooms in, rather than strain and discard as per the recipe.
The sauce was absolutely delicious. Really, really, really tasty!
Much of it’s flavour comes from the stock so I would strongly recommend making your own or buying a top quality fresh one rather than using a concentrate or cube. We make our chicken stock in a slow cooker, overnight, using the carcass from a roast chicken, the giblets (minus liver which I’ll have enjoyed as a pre-dinner snack), onions or leeks, depending on what’s in the fridge, carrots, a bay leaf or two and water to cover. In the morning, it’s ready!
There are several more recipes that we want to try from the book so I’ll be sure to blog those too.
Sauces: Savoury and Sweet is published by Quadrille. Many thanks to Quadrille for the review copy.