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Basic Sauces

Wine matches

Vegetables in Season

Fruits in Season




Cooking Methods

Basic Wine Crib



Demi Glace : Espagnol : Basic Brown Stock : Au Poivre : Wild Mushroom : Bordelaise : Chasseur : Madeira : Marsala : Red Wine with Mustard/Thyme : Veloute : Mustard Vinaigrette : Pesto : Bechamel : Bolognaise : Bernaise : Classic Cheese : Carbonara : Remoulade : Mornay : Caesar Salad : Hollandaise : Alfredo : Sauce Tartare ; Madras Curry Sauce ; Marie Rose Sauce ; Satay Sauce

Classic Sauces





Yield: 1 gallon
1 gallon Espagnole sauce, hot
1 gallon brown stock, hot
1 bouquet garni In a stock pot, combine the Espagnole sauce, brown stock and bouquet garni, together, over medium-high heat. Bring up to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and a simmer until the liquid reduces by half, about 1 1/2 hours. Skim the liquid occasionally, for impurities. Season with salt and pepper. Strain through a China Cap or tightly meshed strainer.



1 gallon brown stock, hot
1 1/2 cups brown roux
1/4 cup bacon fat
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 bouquet garni In a stock pot, whisk the hot stock into the roux. In a large sauté pan, heat the bacon fat. Add the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir the tomato puree into the vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add the tomato/vegetable mixture to the stock/roux mixture. Add the bouquet garni and continue to simmer, skimming as needed. Season with salt and pepper.
Simmer the sauce for about 45 minutes. Strain the sauce through a China cap or tightly meshed strainer.

Basic Brown Stock


8 pounds veal marrow bones sawed into 2-inch pieces
6 pounds beef marrow bones sawed into 2-inch pieces
16 ounces tomato paste
4 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped carrot
2 cups chopped celery
4 cups dry red wine
1 bouquet garni
salt and pepper
16 quarts of water

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the bones in a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour. Remove the bones from the oven and brush with the tomato paste.
In a mixing bowl, combine the onions, carrots, and celery together. Lay the vegetables over the bones and return to the oven. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and drain off any fat.
Place the roasting pan on the stove and deglaze the pan with the red wine, using a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan for browned particles. Put everything into a large stockpot. Add the bouquet garni and season with salt.
Add the water. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the stock for 4 hours, skimming regularly. Remove from the heat and strain through a China cap or tightly meshed strainer.
Yield: about 2 gallons

Au Poivre (Peppercorn)

A powerful brown sauce made with crushed peppercorns that is served with steaks, chops, & roasts.

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 oz. Butter (1/4 stick)
1 Tb. Cracked black (or green) peppercorn
1/2 cup red wine (Use a good table wine)
8 fl. oz. demi-glace *
2 Tb. finely chopped parsley
Pepper to taste
*1 1/2 oz of Demi-Glace Gold reconstituted in 8 fluid ounce of hot water.

Melt butter in a sauce pan and sauté shallots for approx. 2 minutes (until transparent). Add peppercorns and red wine, and reduce to an essence (approx. 2-3 minutes).
Add the demi-glace and stir with a whisk until glace is dissolved. Add water and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon.
Blend in chopped parsley and serve over broiled steaks. Sauce is best over strip steaks (approx. 8-12 oz.) with all fat trimmed. Steaks can be either pan fried, broiled, or grilled, whatever your preference.
The amount of peppercorn may be varied to suit your personal taste

Wild Mushroom Sauce

A simple mushroom sauce to serve on steaks, chops, & sautéed chicken.

Makes 3-4 servings
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots 2 oz. Butter (1/2 stick)
8-10 oz. sliced fresh wild mushrooms or standard white mushrooms if you can't find them.
1/2 cup red wine (Use a good table wine)
1 1/2 oz Demi-Glace Gold
8 fl. oz. Hot water
Freshly Ground Pepper
1 oz of reconstituted Dried Wild Mushrooms can be substituted

Melt butter in a sauce pan and sauté shallots briefly. Add all mushrooms and sauté until transparent (approx. 3 minutes). Add red wine and reduce for approx. 2-3 minutes (to an essence).
Add Demi-Glace Gold and stir with a whisk until demi-glace is dissolved. Add water and simmer for approx. 5-6 minutes (until sauce has thickened).
Serve over beef, veal or chicken.
Sauce is excellent over most grilled meats, such as, veal or beef medallions, chicken breasts, etc.
Mushroom varieties noted are suggestions, substitute based on local availability or preference. A standard mushroom sauce can be prepared by substituting all wild mushrooms for the typical grocery store variety.


A French sauce made with brown stock, shallots, bone marrow, and herbs. Sauce is excellent over most cuts of grilled or roast beef, especially whole roasted beef tenderloin.

Serves approx. 4
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 oz. butter (1/4 stick)
4 oz. diced beef bone marrow (or butter)
1/4 Tsp. cracked black peppercorn
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 cup red wine (Use a good table wine)
1 cup Demi-Glace

Melt butter in a sauce pan and sauté shallots for approx. 2 minutes (until transparent). Add red wine and reduce for approx. 2-3 minutes (to an essence). Add thyme and peppercorns and reduce further for approx. 2-3 minutes (until almost no liquid remains).
Add Demi-Glace and simmer for approx. 5-6 minutes (until sauce begins to thicken).
In a separate pan, simmer diced bone marrow in water for 3-4 minutes. Drain water and add diced marrow to sauce and simmer for approx. 2 minutes. Serve over tournedo, beef tenderloin steaks, or rump steaks.


A classic brown sauce consisting of mushrooms, shallots, and wine served on game and other meats.

Serves approximately 6
1/2 cup diced bacon (approx. 4 slices diced)
6 oz. quartered mushrooms (approx. 1 cup) or 1 oz. of reconstituted Dried Mushrooms
1 cup pearl onions
1/2 cup red wine (Use a good table wine)
8 oz. demi-glace
1/4 cup cranberry relish
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)

Place diced bacon in a saucepan and cover with water. Boil water until gone (this will cook the bacon). Add the mushrooms and pearl onions and sauté briefly with the bacon.
Add the red wine to the reconstituted demi-glace and simmer for 5 minutes, then combine with other cooked ingredients, cranberry relish, and heavy cream (if desired).
Serve over venison steaks, chops, or medallions. Sauce is excellent over all types of game meat. Can also be served over beef or veal if preferred.
The heavy cream is strictly optional and gives the sauce a richer colour and flavour.


One of the most popular sauces of all. Great with veal, chicken, or tender beef.

1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1 oz. Butter (1/4 stick)
1/2 Tsp. cracked peppercorn
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme (1/4 tsp. dried)
3/4 cup Marsala wine
1/4 cup red wine (Use a good table wine)
1 cup demi glace
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)

Melt butter in a saucepan and sauté shallots, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns for (approximately 5-6 minutes).
Add Marsala wine and red wine and reduce to half (approximately 5-6 minutes). Add demi-glace and stir with a whisk until demi-glace is incorporated.
Simmer for approximately 5-6 minutes (until sauce has thickened).
Add heavy cream (if desired), and serve over beef, veal, or chicken.
Sauce is excellent over most grilled meats, such as veal or beef medallions, chicken breasts, etc. The heavy cream is strictly optional and gives the sauce a richer colour and flavuor.

Madeira Sauce

This sauce is great with beef or game.

3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1 oz. Butter (1/4 stick)
1/2 pound white or crimini mushrooms, sliced (optional)
1/2 teaspoon. cracked peppercorn
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme (1/4 tsp. dried)
1/4 cup red wine
3/4 cup Madeira wine
1 cup Demi-Glace
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)

In a medium sized saucepan, sauté shallots in butter for 1-2 minutes or until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are tender. (approx. 3 minutes). Remove mushrooms and set aside.
Add peppercorns, thyme, and bay leaf and cook 30 seconds. Add red wine and reduce by half. Add Madeira wine and bring to boil.
Add Demi-Glace and whisk until incorporated into the sauce. Return mushrooms to pan and add heavy cream and reduce briefly.

Red Wine Sauce with Mustard & Thyme


2 medium shallots, minced
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup homemade stock (chicken, beef, lamb, or venison)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

After sautéing properly, remove meat or chicken from the pan leaving the residual fat that it was cooked in. There should be some brown bits of meat or chicken in the pan leftover from the cooking. This is called fond. Leave it right where it is. Add the shallots to the pan and cook over low heat stirring frequently until the shallots are translucent.
Raise the heat to high, add wine, stock, and bring to a boil. At this time loosen any of the browned bits stuck to the pan with a wooden spoon and incorporate them into the sauce. Boil until the liquid is reduced in half.
Reduce heat to medium, add the balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard and cook until the sauce has the consistency you like. It should be thick enough to coat regular spoon. I hesitate to give cooking times for each of these steps because the amount of heat (Btu's) varies from stove to stove.
Remove from heat and stir in butter. This will help thicken it a little more and give it a nice glossy appearance. Add the fresh thyme, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve over your main course immediately.



1 1/2 cups white stock (veal, chicken, or fish) - white stock just means the bones were not roasted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Bring the stock to a simmer in a large saucepan. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over low heat (don't let it burn) and add the flour. Raise the heat to medium and stir the butter and flour together for about 2 minutes. You are making the roux.
Whisk the simmering stock into the roux and keep heating and whisking. When the stock begins to simmer again, turn down the heat to low and cook until the sauce thickens. A thin skin may form, just skim it away with your spoon. Depending on your stovetop, the sauce may take 5 - 10 minutes to get to your desired consistency.
Season with salt and pepper. Strain if you have a fine mesh strainer or chinois

Basic Mustard Vinaigrette


1 glove of garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
5-6 tablespoons oil (vegetable, corn, canola, olive or some combination)
pinch of dried parsley
pinch of dried thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a clean jar or small bowl, add the vinegar, garlic, mustard and mix well. Slowly add the olive oil while either whisking or stirring rapidly with your fork. Add the parsley and thyme, salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasonings.
Simple, you bet, but this straightforward recipe will blow away any store bought salad dressing on the market. Start experimenting with your own ingredients .

Pesto Sauce


3 cloves garlic
2 cups fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons pine nuts (pignolia)
1 dash salt and pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
Classically prepared with mortar and pestle - alternative
Add the garlic to the food processor and mince. Next, add the basil leaves, pine nuts, and a dash of salt and pepper to the bowl of the processor. While the processor is running, slowly drizzle in olive oil through the feed tube until all the ingredients are pureed.
You may need to stop the processor at this point and scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula to get every mixed together. Now add Parmesan cheese and mix it into the rest of the mixture. If the pesto is too thick, add a tablespoon of water. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use it. This should keep for 2 - 3 days in the fridge but freezes well if you want to keep it longer.



1/2 onion
1 bay leaf
8 whole black peppercorns
A few parsley stalks
600ml milk
50g butter (or margarine)
50g plain flour

Put onion, bay leaf, peppercorns and parsley stalks into a heavy-based saucepan. Pour in milk and bring just to the boil, then remove from the heat and set aside to infuse for 30 minutes. Strain into a jug.
Meanwhile, put butter (or margarine) into a separate, clean, heavy-based saucepan. Let it melt over a medium heat, then add flour. Using a wooden spoon, stir continuously and very well until you have a smooth, slightly grainy paste. This is called a roux.
Off the heat, whisk a little of the infused milk into the roux, beating well with the wooden spoon, then return to the heat, beating, until thickened. Repeat until half the milk is incorporated, then switch to a whisk. Continue adding the milk (off the heat) and whisking over the heat until smooth.
Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking the sauce for 4-5 minutes, until thickened, stirring occasionally. Taste, season, and make sure there is no hint of flour.

Bolognese (Bolgnaise) sauce


1 large onion
1 large carrot
Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 lb of lean minced beef
1/2 lb of lean minced pork
140g of pancetta (optional)
2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
Tomato puree
1 large tablespoon of sugar
Half a cup of fresh milk
Fresh or dried spaghetti

If possible, re-mince the meat all together to gain a finer texture. Some people fry off the pancetta first, before adding any of the other meats individually to the pan, but uncut or unminced pancetta usually creates large cunks of bacon and fat in your bolognaise mixture, so it's often best to re-mince it or finely chop it - or just leave it out entirely.
Chop the onion very finely (the finer, the better) and mince the garlic. (Keep the garlic separate).
Chop the carrot into very small pieces (about 10mm each). (The carrot helps reduce the acidity in the bolognese mixture). Heat a very large cooking pot and cover the bottom in olive oil, then heat the oil moderately for about 1-2 mins. Add the onion for a few minutes, then add the carrot. Lightly fry both over a moderate heat for about 3 mins, until very soft. Do not overheat, as the onion will burn.
Add the meat to the pot and stir it in until it completely breaks up and turns a light brown colour. You may have to chop at the meat with your wooden spoon to break it up. (It sometimes helps to add the meat in small portions, especially if there's a lot of it, to prevent the pot from cooling down).
Drain the juice from the tins of chopped tomatoes into a jug or mug. (You can use tins of plum tomatoes, but you will have to remove the stocks and chop them up, then drain them).
Add two tablespoons of tomato puree to the jug, and top it up with hot water from the kettle until you have around 300-400ml. Mix it well until it forms a dark red tomato pasatta. Pour in a splash or two of milk, and stir in well. (Don't squirt the tomato puree straight into the pot, puree is a concentrated tomato flavour enhancer, and should be mixed down before using it to stretch out a sauce). Add the drained tomatoes to the pot and stir in well. Allow them to simmer with the meat. (If you like, you can add a small amount of red wine at this stage - no more than around 100-200ml, adding small amounts at a time and allowing it to reduce down and soak into the meat under a moderate heat).
Gradually add the pasatta to the pot, stirring it in well. Add in the crushed garlic to the pot and stir in well. Add a large tablespoon of sugar and mix in well. (Sugar helps reduce the acidity in the mixture, and creates a savoury flavour). Add salt to taste, and a small amount of pepper.
Allow the mixture to reach simmering point, where it begins to bubble, then turn down the heat and allow the bolognaise to simmer gently for 3-4 hours uncovered (ideally for at least 3 hours, to allow the meat to completely soften and break apart). Remember: do not cover the mixture, and keep it on a very low heat. As you mixture cooks, there should only be the odd bubble popping to the surface.
Stir the mixture at very frequent intervals to stop it sticking to the bottom of the pan, and add some salt to taste, but only if required. Do not over-salt or you'll ruin the sauce.
The mixture should start to reduce down. If it looks like it's becoming too dry, mix a small amount of warm water (about 100ml) with a teaspoon of tomato puree in a cup or mug, and add it very gradually to the pot, mixing in well. Try not to have too much liquid in the mixture.
Boil 2oz of spaghetti per person until al dente (still slightly hard), drain, then toss with a small amount of olive oil in the same pan over a very light heat to evaporate any remaining water.
Add 1-2 large spoonfuls of the hot bolognaise to the pasta in the pan per person, and toss over a light heat until the pasta is lightly coated in bolognaise, then serve hot (piling the pasta with tongs is usually easier than spooning the pasta on to plates).
Remember: your pasta should be 'teased' with the sauce, not drowned in it. Dress with freshly grated parmesan cheese (not the dried stuff).

Béarnaise Sauce

This classic French sauce is made from a reduction of butter, vinegar, and wine mixed with tarragon and thickened with egg yolks. It is served with meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
4 white peppercorns, crushed
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne

Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat just to melt. Boil shallots, tarragon, and peppercorns in vinegar and wine in a nonreactive medium-size saucepan over medium heat until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Strain into the top of a double boiler. Whisk in the egg yolks. Place the top over the bottom of the double boiler containing simmering water. Make sure that the top of the water is below the bottom of the upper part of the double boiler. Whisk constantly. The second that the yolk mixture begins to thicken slightly, remove the top of the double boiler from above the hot water and continue whisking. Turn off the heat. Add four ice cubes to the bottom of the double boiler to cool the hot water a little. Put the pan of yolks back above the hot water. Whisk in the melted butter, drizzling it in very slowly. If at any time the sauce looks as if it is about to break, remove the top and continue whisking to cool it down or whisk in 1 teaspoon cold water. With constant whisking, whisk in the salt and cayenne. When all the butter is incorporated, taste and add more salt or cayenne as needed.