There’s a reason the five mother sauces form the base of French cooking – it’s because the creamy, velvety, cling-to-your-fork concoctions have the ability to transform a simple dish into a lip-smacking meal.
The world over, each region has a champion sauce or condiment that makes something simplistic like a burger, grilled fish or vegetables – and anything else you can think of – taste amazing. Need some inspiration? We have a list:
The mother sauces
Bechamel comprises a roux of flour and butter combined with milk. It’s typically used as a base for pasta, savoury pies or a decadent croque madame. Elevate it as a mornay, a lemon cream and peppercorn sauce. The velouté is a scrumptious white stock; Espagnole is a hearty brown stock; hollandaise is a delectable combination of butter and lemon; and tomato sauce, which is of course a kitchen staple.
The syrupy combination of sweet and spicy is the perfect accompaniment to beef fillet, baked potato, grilled chicken, meatballs, vegetables and more.
The slightly sweet, perfectly nutty, coconut milk-infused sauce is best used in chicken satay, stir-fry and smothered onto vegetables.
A delicious balance of flavour, best served hot with stir-fries, spring rolls and other Asian-inspired dishes.
This delectable combination of oregano, parsley, spring onion and lemon transforms anything from a leg of lamb to a humble frittata into a restaurant-worthy dish.
Harissa sauce is a strong, fragrant accompaniment to vegetables, salads and even soups.
A melting blend of cheese is not only a delicious base for pasta, it can also be served alongside homemade burgers, a perfectly cooked sirloin or lathered onto roasted vegetables.
Honey and mustard is one of the kitchen’s perfect pairings. This moreish sauce is ideal as a baking sauce for chicken, or as a dip for vegetables, spring rolls, tempura prawns and more.
This red sauce made with a yoghurt base and infused with peppers, tomatoes, garlic and chilli takes pork chops and stews to new levels of delicious.
Béarnaise is a thick and creamy sauce made with tarragon, butter, lemon and cayenne. It’s best enjoyed with steak or a Sunday roast.
Pesto is an unsung kitchen hero. Toss a few tablespoons into pasta, salad, soup or onto pizza. The options are endless.
Cucumber, yogurt and mint combined gives pitas, kebabs, burgers and grilled fish that extra something.