Silky Cream Sauce in 5 Easy Steps
By Global Master Chef Karl Guggenmos, Senior Culinary Advsior at Healthy Meals Supreme
One of my early tasks as an apprentice was to learn the basics of all cooking methods, including making foundation sauces such as cream sauce. Well, I had a terrible time with this. I cannot tell how many times my chef would become furious with me when the cream sauce or soup “broke” — meaning it didn’t thicken right. When he finally had enough, he stuck me in the production kitchen, where I drilled on cooking roux and cream based sauces/soups over and over again for a full week AFTER work. Grueling. But, I am proud to say, following that experience, I became an expert. It was not until much later, however, that I learned that the process doesn’t have to be complicated and complex.
By following these five principles, you too can make the perfect, silky smooth and flavorful cream sauce or soup:
- Start by sautéing your seasoned main ingredients in the fat of your choice. This allows the fat to absorb all the flavors from those ingredients, like onion, garlic, vegetables etc. If you are making the sauce for a meat dish, first brown the meat or the bones you are using, then add the rest of ingredients and saute’ them in the same pot with the bones for about 15 to 20 min at medium heat. This will allow all ingredients to absorb the flavors of the browning of the bones/meats. Large meat items should be removed and finished separately in the oven.
2. Add flour (singer is the term used for this ) and cook at a low temperature until incorporated well. Be sure to take your time. This will allow the roux to form. This also allows the flour to absorb all the flavors.
3. Add stock and simmer for approx 20-40 min.
4. Add milk and cream and simmer for approx 10 min.
5. Finish by straining the sauce and add additional seasonings and flavors
If in place of flour you opt to use an alternative thickening agent, such as corn starch, tapioca, potato or rice flour, it is best to first add the stock and cream and THEN whisk the thickening agent into the liquid.
Remember there are 3 types of roux: They are made by cooking the flour and fat mixture to the right color.
- White – used for fish and poached chicken.
- Blond – used for light roasted meats (poultry, veal, pork).
- Brown – used for dark roasted meats (beef, duck, game)
Enjoy making your sauce!