Velouté

Courtesy of Jen Jackson
Photography by Jenna Noel

This sauce has only four main ingredients, and any kind of stock can be used to flavor it. Velouté also employs another mother sauce basic: a roux of butter and flour.

This sauce has only four main ingredients, and any kind of stock can be used to flavor it. Velouté also employs another mother sauce basic: a roux of butter and flour. Use unsalted butter and unbleached, all-purpose flour for the roux, and avoid burning—burnt flour will not thicken properly and burnt butter will taste bitter. I usually make my roux in a pot and then slowly whisk in cold stock. Whisking slowly is important to avoid a lumpy sauce, but if lumps happen, try an immersion blender or strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer—pushing the lumps through with the back of a spoon or ladle. Afterward, simmer the sauce in the pot for five more minutes.

Velouté also requires a bouquet garni of fresh parsley, thyme and bay leaf rolled with celery and tied in a leek top—kind of fancy. I believe whatever fresh herbs are available will taste best; just use discretion when choosing. For example, too much rosemary could overpower, and fresh basil added too early won’t stand up to long cooking times.

Every year after Thanksgiving, I make a stock with my picked-clean turkey carcass and some vegetables and herbs. Simmering it a few hours produces a stock perfect for a turkey velouté. Grab the leftover turkey, cook the vegetables that never made it into the stuffing and you have turkey gravy over biscuits, rice or maybe potatoes.

Easy

Velouté

Ingredients

For 1 Batch(es)

Cream

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups stock (vegetable, poultry, fish or meat)
  • 1 bouquet garni (or a sachet of fresh herbs)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Velouté Directions

  1. In a thick-bottomed saucepan that holds at least 2 quarts, slowly melt the butter. When the butter melts completely, stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Continue to move the roux around the pot until it just begins to turn a darker gold color—about 3 minutes.
  2. Slowly whisk in the cold stock to first form a paste that will gradually get looser as the rest of the stock is added. Once all of the stock is incorporated, bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and add the bouquet garni.
  3. Simmer the sauce until it thickens and just coats the back of the wooden spoon—about 30 minutes. Stir frequently and skim off any scum that rises to the surface.
  4. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer and adjust the salt and pepper. The sauce is ready to serve, but if you choose to serve it later, stir it frequently as it cools to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate the sauce for up to a week or freeze for up to a month.

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