Escoffier Sauce Piquante
Learning how to make classic French sauces will increase your culinary skills and can change the way you cook. This French version of the sauce piquante is a tangy sauce with tomato, gherkins and fresh herbs.
For the sauce base:
- 500 ml / 2 cups brown veal stock (either freshly made or off the shelf)
- 1 tablespoon onion (small rough chop)
- 1 tablespoon carrot (small rough chop)
- 1 tablespoon celery (small rough chop)
- 30 grams /1 oz pork belly (unsmoked and unsalted) cut in small pieces
- 1 tablespoon mushroom trimmings (optional)
- A small twig of thyme
- 100 ml / 33 fluid oz dry white wine
- 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
- 20 grams / 0.7 oz butter
- 15 grams 0.5 oz plain all purpose flour (or T45 flour ideally – use 10 grams for a thinner consistency and more subtle taste.
For the reduction and flavouring:
- 150 ml / 5 fluid oz dry white wine
- 150 ml / 5 fluid oz good quality red or white wine vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon sweet and sour gherkins (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon chervil (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon tarragon (finely chopped)
- 20 to 30 grams / 1 oz finely chopped shallots
- Salt and pepper to season (I actually forgot to mention this in the video but the seasoning has to be added just before the herbs and gherkins. Season to your own taste and add more pepper than salt)
Sauce piquante cooking Notes:
- When combining the reduction and sauce base you only need to use 300 ml of the sauce base and add it to the vinegar and wine reductions.
- The sauce base has to be cooked and reduced for 20 minutes on low heat.
- The reduction of vinegar and wine must be reduced by half so you are left with only 150 ml in total at the end.
If you use an “off the shelf” ready made stock as shown in the video you will need to add 200 grams of beef or veal meat trimming alongside the pork. Sear the meats really well and only then add the aromatics and then the stock to the pan.
The sauce base:
- Brown the meat pieces (if using off the shelf stock, including the beef or veal trimming) in a little oil on a moderate heat for a few minutes. Discard the meat pieces and pour off the excess fat.
- Reduce the heat, add the butter and then the carrots, celery, onions and thyme (and mushrooms if used) and cook for 1 or 2 minutes.
- Stir in the flour – toasted flour can be used to avoid the need of cooking the flour – but if untoasted flour is used, cook the roux on low for a few minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and mix and cook for about a minute.
- Add 500 ml (2 cups) of the stock and the white wine and bring to the boil and reduce on low heat for 15 – 20 minutes.
The Flavouring (Reduction)
- Place shallots, wine and vinegar in a pan and on high heat reduce to about ½ the volume.
- Add 300 ml (10.55 fluid oz) of the sauce base to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, after which season to taste with salt and pepper.
- With the heat off, add the herbs and gherkins and whisk together. Allow the herbs to infuse after which the sauce is ready to use. It works particularly well with white meats – pork, chicken or veal.
Learn how to make Escoffier sauce piquante with that video tutorial: