English Sauces - Definition and Recipes

Failure in the composition of the standard English sauce, "melted butter" (sauce Blanche), is so common, that I will commence with a few hints concerning that simple preparation.

The pith of this sauce consists in melting the butter (good butter, mind) first at the bottom of the stew-pan, over a very moderate fire, next to add the flour, which soon forms a smooth paste when worked with the melted butter, and then to reduce the heat, and cook the roux gently for some minutes, but without allowing it to take color.

Next to add by degrees the warm water, or milk and water, with a pinch of salt. Increase the heat now, and work this well with a wooden spoon till it is soft and creamy to look upon, pass it through the tin strainer into a hot sauceboat and, as you serve it, add a pat of fresh butter the size of a walnut, which will, of course, melt of its own accord, and give the desired fresh buttery flavor—not that flour-and-watery one so suggestive of the composition people use for fixing scraps in an album.


  • Quarter, peel, core, and chop two lbs. of medium-sized apples; place these in a stew pan with one tablespoonful of powdered sugar, a bit of cinnamon, and a few tablespoons of water.
  • Cook the whole gently with lid on, and smooth the purée with a whisk when dishing up.
  • Serve this sauce lukewarm with duck, goose, roast hare, etc.,
  • Boil one pint of milk, and add three oz. of fresh, white bread-crumb, a little salt, a small onion with a clove stuck in it, and one oz. of butter.
  • Cook gently for about a quarter of an hour, remove the onion, smooth the sauce with a whisk, and finish it with a few tablespoons of cream.
  • This sauce is served with roast fowl and roast feathered game.



  • Clean six stalks of celery (only use the hearts), put them in a sauté pan, wholly immerse in consommé, add a faggot and one onion with a clove stuck in it, and cook gently.
  • Drain the celery, pound it in a mortar, then rub it through a tammy and put the purée in a stew pan.
  • Now thin the purée with an equal quantity of cream sauce and a little reduced celery liquor.
  • Heat it moderately, and, if it has to wait, put it in a bain-marie.
  • This sauce is suited to boiled or braised poultry. It is excellent, and has been adopted in French cookery.


  • Cook one pint of cranberries with one quart of water in a stew pan, and cover the stew pan.
  • When the berries are cooked drain them in a fine sieve through which they are strained.
  • To the purée thus obtained add the necessary quantity of their cooking liquor, so as to make a somewhat thick sauce.
  • Sugar should be added according to the taste of the consumer.
  • This sauce is mostly served with roast turkey. It is to be bought ready-made, and, if this kind be used, it need only be heated with a little water.


  • Take one pint of butter sauce and finish it with two tablespoons of chopped fennel, scalded for a few seconds.
  • This is principally used with mackerel.


  • Dissolve one-quarter pound of butter, and add to it the necessary salt, a little pepper, half the juice of a lemon, and three hard-boiled eggs (hot and cut into large cubes); also a teaspoon of chopped and scalded parsley.


  • Make a white roux with one and one-half oz. of butter and one oz. of flour.
  • Mix in one pint of boiling milk, season with salt, white pepper, and nutmeg, and boil gently for ten minutes.
  • Then add three hot hard-boiled eggs, cut into cubes (the whites and the yolks).
  • This sauce usually accompanies boiled fish, especially fresh haddocks and fresh and salted cod.


  • Rasp five oz. of horse-radish and place them in a stew pan with one-quarter pint of white consommé.
  • Boil gently for twenty minutes and add a good one-half pint of butter sauce, as much cream, and one-half oz. of bread-crumb; thicken by reducing on a brisk fire and rub through tammy.
  • Then thicken with the yolks of two eggs, and complete the seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper, and a teaspoonful of mustard dissolved in a tablespoon of vinegar.
  • Serve this sauce with braised or roast beef-especially fillets.


  • This is the Butter Sauce to which is added, per pint, a heaped tablespoonful of freshly-chopped parsley.


  • Put into a small stew pan and boil one pint of half-glaze sauce and one-half pint of ordinary Poivrade sauce.
  • Complete with a garnish composed of one-half oz. of gherkins, one-half oz. of the hard-boiled white of an egg, one oz. of salted tongue, one oz. of truffles, and one oz. of mushrooms. All these to be cut Julienne-fashion and short.
  • This sauce is for mutton cutlets when these are “à la Reform.”

Cold Sauces and Compound Butters


  • Pound one oz. of garlic cloves as finely as possible in a mortar, and add the yolk of one raw egg, a pinch of salt, and one-half pint of oil, letting the latter gradually fall in a thread and wielding the pestle meanwhile, so as to effect a complete amalgamation.
  • Add a few drops of lemon juice and cold water to the sauce as it thickens, these being to avoid its turning.
  • Should it decompose while in the process of making or when made, the only thing to be done is to begin it again with the yolk of an egg.


  • Take the required quantity of Mayonnaise sauce and add to it the quarter of its volume of very red and concentrated tomato purée, and finally add two oz. of capsicum cut finely, Julienne-fashion, per pint of sauce.


  • Put in a bowl one-quarter pint of cold Béchamel, the yolks of four eggs, a little table salt and white pepper.
  • Add a quart of oil and three tablespoons of tarragon vinegar, proceeding as for the Mayonnaise.
  • Finish the sauce with a tablespoonful of mustard.


  • Pound in a mortar, and make into a smooth, fine paste, one oz. of pistachios and one oz. of fir-apple kernels, or, if these are not available, one oz. of sweet almonds; add one-half tablespoon of cold Béchamel.
  • Put this paste into a bowl, add the yolks of six eggs, a little salt and pepper, and finish the sauce with one quart of oil, the juice of two lemons, and proceed as for the Mayonnaise.
  • Complete with three tablespoons of purée of herbs, prepared with equal quantities of chervil, parsley, tarragon, and fresh pimpernel, scalded for one minute.
  • Cool quickly, press so as to expel the water, and pass through a fine sieve.
  • Serve this sauce with cold fish.


  • Crush in a basin the yolks of six hard-boiled eggs, and work them into a smooth paste, together with a large tablespoon of French mustard, the necessary salt, a little pepper, and make up the sauce with one pint of oil.
  • Complete with one dessertspoonful of parsley, chervil, and tarragon (chopped and mixed), as many capers and gherkins, evenly mixed, and the hard-boiled whites of three eggs, cut short, Julienne-fashion.
  • This sauce is chiefly used with cold fish.


  • Put in a basin the yolks of six raw eggs, after having removed the cores.
  • Season them with one-half oz. of table salt and a little cayenne pepper.
  • Gradually pour one-fifth pint of vinegar on the yolks while whisking them briskly.
  • When the vinegar is absorbed add one quart of oil, letting the latter trickle down in a thread, constantly stirring the sauce meanwhile.
  • The sauce is finished by the addition of the juice of a lemon and three tablespoons of boiling water—the purpose of the latter being to ensure the coherence of the
  • sauce and to prevent its turning.
  • Mayonnaise prepared in this way is rather liquid, but it need only be left to rest a few hours in order to thicken considerably.
  • Unless it be exposed to too low a  temperature, the  Mayonnaise, prepared as above, never turns, and may be kept for several days without the fear of anything happening to it.
  • Merely cover it to keep the dust away.
  • Remarks: In the matter of that sauce there exist endless prejudices, which I must attempt to refute:
  • If the sauce forms badly, or not at all, the reason is that the oil has been added too rapidly at first, before the addition of the vinegar, and that its assimilation by the yolks has not operated normally.
  • It is quite an error to suppose that it is necessary to work over ice or in a cold room. Cold is rather deleterious to the Mayonnaise, and is invariably the cause of this sauce turning in winter. In the cold season the oil should be slightly warmed, or, at least, kept at the temperature of the kitchen, though it is best to make it in a moderately warm place.
  • It is a further error to suppose that the seasoning interferes with the making of the sauce, for salt, in solution, rather provokes the cohering force of the yolks.
  • Causes of the Disintegration of the Mayonnaise:
  • The too rapid addition of the oil at the start.
  • The use of congealed, or too cold, an oil.
  • Excess of oil in proportion to the number of yolks, the assimilating power of an egg being limited to two and one-half oz. of oil (if the sauce be made some time in advance), and three oz. if it is to be used immediately.
  • Means of Bringing Turned Mayonnaise Back to its Normal State:
  • Put the yolk of an egg into a basin with a few drops of vinegar, and mix the turned Mayonnaise in it, little by little. If it be a matter of only a small quantity of Mayonnaise, one-half a teaspoon of mustard can take the place of the egg-yolk. Finally, with regard to acid seasoning, a whiter sauce is obtained by the use of lemon juice instead of vinegar.


  • Take the necessary quantity of Mayonnaise and gradually add to it, per one and one-half pints of the sauce, one-half pint of cold and rather firm melting aspic jelly—Lenten or ordinary, according to the nature of the products for which the sauce is intended.
  • Remarks: It is this very Mayonnaise, formerly used almost exclusively for coating entrées and cold relevées of fish, filleted fish, escalopes of common and spiny-lobster, etc.,



  • Put into a copper basin or other bowl three-quarters pint of melted jelly, two-thirds pint of Mayonnaise, one tablespoon of tarragon vinegar, and as much rasped or finely-chopped horseradish.
  • Mix up the whole, place the utensil on ice, and whisk gently until the contents get very frothy.
  • Stop whisking as soon as the sauce begins to solidify, for it must remain almost fluid so as to enable it to mix with the products for which it is intended.
  • This sauce is used principally for vegetable salads.


  • Put into a bowl one pint of oil, one-third pint of vinegar, a little salt and pepper, two oz. of small capers, three tablespoons of fine herbs, comprising some very finely chopped onion, as much parsley, and half as much chervil, tarragon, and
  • chives. Mix thoroughly.
  • The Ravigote accompanies calf's head or foot, sheep's trotters, etc.
  • Two or three tablespoons of the liquor with which its accompanying solids have been cooked, i.e., calf's head or sheep's trotters liquor, etc. are often added to this sauce when dishing up.


  • To one pint of Mayonnaise add one large tablespoonful of mustard, another of gherkins, and yet another of chopped and pressed capers, one tablespoon of fine herbs, parsley, chervil, and tarragon, all chopped and mixed, and a teaspoon of anchovy essence.
  • This sauce accompanies cold meat and poultry, and, more particularly, common and spiny lobster.


  • Take the necessary quantity of thick Mayonnaise and spicy seasoning, and add to these, per pint of sauce, one-third pint of herb juice (Vincent Sauce)
  • This is suitable for cold fish and shell fish.


  • Prepare and carefully wash the following herbs: One oz. each of parsley, chervil, tarragon, chives, sorrel-leaves, and fresh pimpernel, two oz. of water-cress and two oz. of spinach.
  • Put all these herbs into a copper bowl containing salted, boiling water.
  • Boil for two minutes only; then drain the herbs in a sieve and immerse them in a basin of fresh water.
  • When they are cold they are once more drained until quite dry; then they must be finely pounded with the yolks of eight hard-boiled eggs.
  • Rub the purée thus obtained through a sieve first, then through tammy, add one pint of very stiff Mayonnaise to it and finish the sauce with a dessertspoonful of Worcestershire Sauce.

Cold English Sauces


  • Pound together the yolks of six hard-boiled eggs, the washed and dried fillets of four anchovies, a teaspoonful of capers, a dessertspoon of chervil, tarragon, and chives, mixed.
  • When the whole forms a fine paste, add one tablespoonful of mustard, one-fifth pint of oil, one tablespoonful of vinegar, and proceed as for a Mayonnaise.
  • Season with a little cayenne; rub through tammy, applying pressure with a spoon, and put the sauce in a bowl.
  • Stir it awhile with a whisk to smooth it, and finish with one teaspoonful of chopped parsley.
  • It is suited to cold meats in general; in fact, it is an Anglicized version of Vincent Sauce.


  • Dissolve four tablespoons of red-currant jelly, to which are added one-fifth pint of port wine, one teaspoon of finely-chopped shallots, scalded for a few seconds and pressed, one teaspoon of small pieces of orange rind and as much lemon rind (cut finely, Julienne-fashion, scalded for two minutes, well-drained, and cooled), the juice of an orange and that of half a lemon, one teaspoonful of mustard, a little cayenne pepper, and as much powdered ginger.
  • Mix the whole well.
  • Serve this sauce with cold venison.


  • Take one pint of very thick Mayonnaise and complete it with one-fifth pint of sour cream with the juice of a lemon added, and combine with the Mayonnaise by degrees; one teaspoon of chopped fennel and as much Worcester sauce.
  • Serve this with all cold meats.


  • Cut finely, Julienne-fashion, or chop, two oz. of mint leaves.
  • Put these in a bowl with a little less than one oz. of white cassonade or castor sugar, one-quarter pint of fresh vinegar, and four tablespoons of water.
  • Special sauce for hot or cold lamb.



  • Make a Cumberland sauce, with this difference: that the Julienne of orange and lemon rinds should be replaced by rasped or finely-chopped rinds, and that the
  • quantities of same should be less, i.e., two-thirds of a teaspoon of each.


  • Dilute one tablespoonful of mustard with two tablespoons of vinegar in a basin, and add one lb. of finely-rasped horseradish, two oz. of powdered sugar, a little salt, one pint of cream, and one lb. of bread-crumb steeped in milk and pressed.
  • Serve this sauce very cold.
  • It accompanies boiled and roast joints of beef.
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