Preparing a Sauce Velouté

Preparation of veloute sauce on the wooden table horizontal
photo by denis karpenkov, c/o

The  velouté sauce  is one of the basic sauces of French cooking. It is a white sauce that is prepared from white stock  an ideal base for various additions and other enrichments. It was listed by the great chef Auguste Escoffier in the early 20th Century as one of the five mother sauces. These others include hollandaise, espagnole, tomato and béchamel

Velouté is not the same as a béchamel sauce because it is prepared from a light stock. The stock base is usually fish, veal or chicken and is referred to using the source of the bones as in chicken velouté, fish velouté, seafood velouté. The stock never comes from roasted meats like lamb, beef etc. A béchamel does not use a clear stock but milk instead and it is the only real difference between the two. Subtle but really important when used later on.  I’ll include it just for comparison.

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Ingredients for a velouté:

  • 1oz, butter
  • 1oz, flour
  • 1 pint white stock. 

A béchamel replaces the white stock with 3/4 pint of milk heated to a boil in a saucepan with  1/4 tsp salt.

Preparation of the white roux:

  1. In a saucepan melt the butter over a low heat.
  2. Blend in the flour with continuous stirring until the butter and flour mix starts frothing. Cook both together for 2 minutes abut do not allow the mix to brown. This is the white roux.
  3. Remove the roux from the heat. It needs to stop bubbling away and then the stock is added. It must be beaten vigorously with a wire whisk to blend the stock and roux. Gather in all the bits of roux on the sides as you go along.
  4. Heat the roux mix on a moderately high heat and keep stirring with the whisk until the sauce comes to the boil. Boil for a minute with stirring.
  5. Remove it from the heat and beat in salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. The sauce is ready for any further additions.
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