Culinary Arts

What Is Sauce Velouté? Plus Chef Thomas Keller's Sauce Velouté Recipe

Written by MasterClass

May 21, 2019 • 3 min read

Imagine sauce velouté as a blank canvas that you can decorate any way you choose. This magic combination of stock, flour, and butter has a velvety, creamy texture that can be used as a base to make an assortment of different sauces.

A squeeze of fresh lemon juice can lighten it up, adding an acidic tang to seafood dishes, or a dash of heavy cream can transform into a sauce suprême. You can start with our simple base below and choose your own adventure.

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What Is Velouté?

A velouté sauce features a white stock thickened with a blond roux, resulting in a velvety, smooth texture. While the most common type of velouté uses chicken stock as a base, you can make it with fish stock or veal stock, depending on the protein in your final dish. Velouté is one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine and is used as a starting base for a variety of other sauces.

9 Velouté Derivative Sauces

  1. Sauce Suprême: A classic French sauce made by finishing a velouté with cream, butter, and lemon juice. Sauce suprême sauce is known as a secondary mother sauce because it can be served on its own or as a base for other sauce recipes.
  2. Albufera sauce: After pan-searing a cut of meat and deglazing the pan, the juices are added to a velouté to make an Albufera pan sauce.
  3. Allemande sauce: A velouté thickened with egg yolks, heavy cream, and seasoned with lemon juice.
  4. Bercy: A fish velouté that has shallots, white wine, lemon juice, and parsley added to it.
  5. Normande sauce: A chicken velouté or fish velouté thickened with heavy cream, butter, and egg yolk. Primarily served with seafood.
  6. Poulette: Velouté with an addition of mushrooms, chopped parsley, and lemon juice.
  7. Sauce ravigote: A classic acidic French sauce, flavored with lemon juice or white wine vinegar, fresh minced herbs, and, sometimes, dijon mustard.
  8. Sauce Vin Blanc: A white wine sauce with egg yolks and butter. Typically served with fish.
  9. Sauce à la Polonaise: A Polish sauce with horseradish, lemon juice, and sour cream.

What to Serve With a Velouté Sauce

  • Chicken. Traditionally, sauce suprême is served with poached or steamed chicken, or other poultry dishes with delicate flavors. Try it in Chef Gordon Ramsay’s chicken suprême recipe.
  • Fish. Fish velouté is used as a base for white wine sauce and normande sauce, all of which go well over a fillet of fish.
  • Veal. Veal velouté is a base for allemande sauce, which pairs perfectly with crispy veal scaloppine or pork chops.
  • Soups: A variety of cream soups can be made simply by sautéeing vegetables, adding velouté, then pureeing and adding heavy cream.
Thomas Keller's sauces in pots on stove

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Chef Thomas Keller's Sauce Velouté Recipe

  • Beurre manié (recipe below)*, as needed
  • Light chicken stock
  • Salt
  • Grated nutmeg, if desired
  • Ground white pepper, if desired

Equipment:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Rubber spatula
  • Sauce pot
  • Whisk
  • Spoon

*For the beurre manié:

  • 100 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100 grams all-purpose flour
  1. For the beurre manié: Mix together equal parts butter and flour until thoroughly blended and smooth. Set aside.
  2. For the velouté: Heat the stock to simmering. Whisk in enough of the beurre manié (about half) to thicken the sauce. Be sure to keep your whisk moving as you incorporate the thickener into the stock to help achieve a velvety texture.
  3. As the mixture begins to combine with the stock, the color will darken slightly. Offset the pot from the flame to allow any impurities from the flour to be driven to one side. Use a spoon to check the texture of the velouté as is comes together—it should coat the spoon with a velvety texture.
  4. Continue whisking while seasoning to taste. To determine the desired consistency, drag your finger through it and see if the sauce holds. Use the finished chicken velouté as-is or use it for another sauce.
  5. For Sauce Suprême Variation: Whisk heavy cream and crème fraîche into sauce velouté, and season as needed.

Find more culinary methods in Chef Thomas Keller’s MasterClass on meats, stocks, and sauces.