Suprême sauce

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Suprême sauce is one of the classic small sauces of French cuisine, that is, one made by combining a basic or mother sauce with extra ingredients.


Traditionally this sauce is made from a velouté sauce (a roux sauce made with a meat stock - in the case of suprême, a chicken stock is usually preferred), reduced with cream or crème fraîche and then strained through a fine sieve. This is the recipe as used in Larousse Gastronomique, a seminal work of French haute cuisine, first published in 1938.

A light squeeze of lemon juice is commonly added. In many cases, chefs also choose to add finely-chopped and lightly sautéed mushrooms to the dish, although this was not specifically mentioned in Larousse Gastronomique or by Escoffier, the "Emperor of the World's Kitchen's", who was an arbiter of classic French cuisine.

It is possible to make a similar sauce to pass for sauce suprême by taking Béchamel sauce (a classic white mother sauce made with butter, flour and milk), with a poultry stock (effectively a shortcut to making a Velouté by combining the roux and stock elements) and butter.

Mrs Waters' The Cook's Decameron (referenced below) suggests the following recipe: the sauce is made by placing three-quarters of a pint of white sauce into a saucepan, and when it is nearly boiling, adding half a cup of concentrated fowl stock. It should then be reduced until the sauce is quite thick, passed through a chinois strainer into a bain-marie and have added two tablespoonsful of cream.

The compilers are careful to note that this is not the true recipe as stated by Escoffier.


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