Chef Thomas Keller smiling
The Ingredient Thomas Keller Always Starts A Sauce With
Famed French Laundry chef Thomas Keller always starts his sauces with a good stock. This ingredient is key because it serves as the overarching flavor of the whole sauce.
Keller explained the importance of stock to MasterClass, stating, "It gives a beautiful aroma and texture that complements whatever it's being served with."
The process of creating most stocks begins by simmering ingredients in water, such as veggies, seasonings, herbs, and the bones of chicken, beef, pork, or seafood.
A low and slow cooking time extracts all the goodness of each ingredient to produce a liquid full of rich and savory flavors, which can then go into any sauce you imagine.
Using stock to make a sauce ensures that it has flavor built in from the start. The broth has similar effects in soups, stews, spreads, and even vegetable purees.
A robust stock also has plenty of gelatin. Whether you're crafting a rich Espagnole sauce or a lighter velouté, stock provides richness and body for a silky-smooth finish.
Your sauce recipe may call for reducing the stock or adding flour or cornstarch to thicken. Either way, all your sauces will be better with a base of stock instead of water.