A velouté sauce is one of the five sauces of French cuisine that were designated the five “mother sauces” by Auguste Escoffier in the 19th century along with espagnole, tomato, béchamel and hollandaise, which was a simplification of the “Sauce Carême” list of Marie-Antoine Carême. The term velouté is from the French adjectival form of velour, meaning velvet.
In preparing a velouté sauce, a light stock (one in which the bones used have not been previously roasted), such as chicken or fish stock, is thickened with a blonde roux. Thus the ingredients of a velouté are equal parts (by mass) of butter and flour to form the roux and a light chicken or fish stock, with some salt and pepper to season as needed. The sauce produced is commonly referred to by the type of stock used (e.g. chicken velouté).
Sauce velouté is often served on poultry or seafood dishes, and is used as the base for other sauces. Sauces derived from a velouté sauce include:
- Albufera sauce: Addition of meat glaze, or glace de viande.
- Allemande sauce: By adding a few drops of lemon juice, egg yolks, and cream
- Bercy: Shallots, white wine, lemon juice and parsley added to a fish velouté
- Poulette: Mushrooms finished with chopped parsley and lemon juice
- Aurore: Tomato purée
- Hungarian: Onion, paprika, white wine
- Sauce ravigote: The addition of a little lemon or white wine vinegar creates a lightly acidic velouté that is traditionally flavoured with onions and shallots, and more recently with mustard.
- Sauce Vin Blanc: Sauce Vin Blanc has the addition of fish trim, egg yolks and butter and is typically served with fish.
- Normande sauce: prepared with velouté or fish velouté, cream, butter and egg yolk as primary ingredients. Some versions may use mushroom cooking liquid and oyster liquid or fish fumet added to fish velouté, finished with a liaison of egg yolks and cream
- Suprême sauce: By adding a reduction of mushroom liquor (produced in cooking) and cream to a chicken velouté
- Venetian sauce: Tarragon, shallots, chervil
- Wine sauce: such as white wine sauce and champagne sauce
- Gravy: usually made with meat and/or vegetable drippings instead of a separate stock, but follows the same principle.
- 2¼ tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2¼ tablespoons plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- 2 cups white chicken stock, approx.
- kosher salt , to taste
- white pepper , to taste
- To start the velouté, first melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk until fully incorporated. Cook the roux until it turns a blonde colour.
- Slowly add the stock, a bit at a time. Whisk and let it come back to a gentle boil each time before adding more stock. Add the stock until you reach a silky-smooth consistency.
- Once done, season with salt and white pepper to taste. The sauce may thicken slightly as it cools, so if you’re not planning to use it right away, you may need to loosen it up with a bit more hot stock before using.