This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure statement.
I’m going to share my secrets of the art of making delicious restaurant-quality sauces at home that are so good, that you’ll never want to buy them again.
I’ve been cooking professionally for decades and have learned a thing or two about making restaurant-quality sauces. You’ll have your family and friends in awe of your sauce-making ability.
It’s hard to tell from looking at the ingredients list on most store-bought jars of sauce, just what it contains. I have a simple rule: if it contains an array of preservatives or additives or is loaded with sugar, salt, or MSG, I won’t use it in my cooking.
I am happy to show you how easy and affordable it is to make your own restaurant-quality delicious sauces at home!
Not only will these recipes be more nutritious because they’re made with fresh, whole foods, but they will also taste better than anything you could purchase in a jar.
This blog post is for you, the cook, the one who has a little bit of experience in the kitchen but wants to learn more about making delicious restaurant-quality sauces at home.
There are so many recipes out there that call for sauces but their method and directions on how to make them can be unclear if not vague.
What Are Techniques For Making Delicious Restaurant-Quality Sauces At Home
We all know the importance of making delicious restaurant-quality sauces at home and how a sauce can make or break a dish. Whether you’re making a dish for a party or just want to spice up your meal, sauces are an integral part of any kitchen.
So what techniques can you use to make your own perfect sauce?
Wholegrain or Dijon mustard, fresh cream, red currant jelly, fresh herbs to make an acrid herbaceous flavor, roasted garlic puree, or even cherries.
Mixing up ideas creates innovation, and this will lead you down new paths of discovery to make your sauces amazing! Let’s take a look at some different ways that will produce delicious results every time!
Sauces are a great way to add flavor and complexity to your meals, knowing the basics of sauce making can help you make sauces that taste great and add a chef-quality to your food.
We can also discuss the basic ingredients that you need when making a sauce and some real restaurant recipes you might want to try out!
#1 Making Sauces For Meat
Making sauces for meat can be a daunting task. But, it doesn’t have to be! These are the best tips on how to make sauces for meat. These are the perfect sauce for your meat dishes, things I have learned or discovered from decades of cooking.
Whether you’re searing steaks med-rare, grilling pork chops, or roasting whole chickens, I’ve got you covered. Stock is the base for many great sauces and is fundamental to all cooking.
It not only adds flavor but also helps to develop flavors that are used in the dishes that you are cooking.
When I need a quick stock I use vegetable offcuts like peelings, stalks from fresh herbs, mushroom peelings, onion, and garlic skins to make vegetable stock.
This is a fantastic way to use up those vegetable offcuts, furthermore using brown onion skins is an excellent way to add rich appetizing color to your stock!
This recipe provides a basic stock base perfect for use when making meat sauces or soups. To make beef or chicken stock it will take you hours!
For a more intense flavor and color, you can scorch the offcuts in a hot pan. However only use the smallest amount of oil when doing this, as adding excessive oil will make your sauce look like an oil slick.
For added flavor, you can also add fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or sage, or add one-star anise before cooking the ingredients together on low heat for at least 30 minutes.
After you’ve simmered the vegetable stock on low heat, strain it through a fine sieve and discard the vegetable offcuts. This vegetable stock will be your foundation for pan jus and gravies.
Pan-jus is a wonderful way to enhance your dish, so if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make an even richer sauce, this is it! To make a pan-jus deglaze the pan or roasting tray your meat was cooked in.
What Is Deglazing?
Simply put, deglazing means adding liquid (usually wine, water, or stock) to the hot pan or roasting tray that you’ve just cooked your meat in.
Deglazing is one of the most important steps in making a good sauce. It infuses your sauce with extra flavor. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up all those delicious browned bits from the bottom of the pan or roasting dish.
Bring it to a simmer, slowly whisk in beurre manié until the sauce starts to thicken, and simmer for two to three minutes to cook out the flour, removing that raw starch flavor. The correct thickness is when the sauce evenly coats the back of a spoon.
The butter will separate and turn greasy instead of a nice and creamy consistency. Making beurre manié is one of the most versatile ways to thicken sauces, and is useful in any cook’s repertoire.
Making Beuree Manié
You will need equal amounts of softened butter and plain flour, mix them both together to form a stiff paste. Beurre manié can be kept in the fridge for up to a month.
Starting With A Roux
Another excellent way to make sauces for meat is to start with a roux. So. how do you make a roux?
Roux can be made with equal amounts of flour and fat – butter, oil, or pan drippings which will alter the flavor profile, a classic roux can use roasted pan drippings or butter.
Once cooked, a roux can be used as a base for thickening your sauce. A common question people have about making a roux is how to tell if it’s done.
The best is when the roux starts to combine together and pull away from the sides of the pan or pot. It will also start to change color, becoming blond or slightly brown.
The beauty of making a roux with pan drippings is that you will get that rich flavor and color from the fat that your meat was roasted in. You can use the vegetable stock that you’ve just made to finish your sauce by whisking it slowly into the roux.
Depending on what kind of meat you are cooking you can add other ingredients to enhance the flavor profile.
Pot Roasted Boneless Lamb Shoulder Pan Gravy
Pot roasting is a traditional cooking technique. This creates the foundation for an amazing sauce to accompany your dish.
How Do You Make Sauce Glossy?
In order to make a sauce glossy, you first need to understand what makes a sauce glossy. There is one main ingredient you’ll need which is butter.
Whisking small cubes of butter one at a time into the warm sauce until they have completely emulsified into the sauce, be careful not to overdo it, or the sauce will taste overly rich or greasy.
This will create a beautiful and glossy sauce that will impress your guests!
Making delicious sauces starts with a solid foundation like a stock or roux base, think about what flavors you want and what meat you are serving.
There are many other ingredients that you can add to your meat sauces.
Don’t be afraid to be innovative and think outside the box, you’ll be amazed at what you can create.
#2 Making Sauces Using Fruits And Vegetables
What about making delicious restaurant-quality sauces at home using different types of fresh fruits and vegetables? Fruit sauces are a great way to add flavor, color, and moisture, plus they’re delicious on everything from meats to desserts.
Vegetable sauces make a great alternative for those who want an extra veggie in their diet without adding more carbs or calories. Let us explore some of the most popular ways you can use fruit and vegetable sauces in your cooking!
One of my favorite things about cooking is that I’m always making delicious restaurant-quality sauces at home for much less money and often healthier than buying something in a jar.
When making fruit and vegetable-based sauces you’ll need a countertop blender or an immersion blender, this will make it way easier. I love using an immersion blender, versatile and easy to clean.
Savory Fruit Based Sauces
There are some classic savory fruit sauces, think about the protein you’re cooking. Here are some examples to get you thinking.
Apricot and tarragon which works great with duck, chicken, or pheasant, apple sauce for roasted or slow cooked pork, or a rich tomato sauce for your pasta dish,
Sweet and sour sauce using diced fresh pineapple or apple, lemon sauce for the classic lemon chicken. Savory fruit sauces can be made out of a variety of fruits, stone and citrus fruits, berries, and tomatoes.
Apricot and Tarragon Sauce
- Bring to the boil 9 ounces – 250g of fresh or tinned apricots, one small onion diced, two cloves of crushed garlic, and one teaspoon of dried tarragon.
- Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes remove from the heat and blend with your immersion blender, season to taste. If too thin you can thicken with arrowroot or cornflour, I prefer to use arrowroot as it gives the sauce a glossy finish.
Sweet Fruit Based Sauces
Making sweet sauces with fruit can be so much fun, a classic fruit sauce is called a coulis. Raspberries (my favorite) are popular when making a fruit coulis and are fantastic with a chocolate brownie or chocolate tort.
- Bring 1 lb – 500g fresh or frozen raspberries and a tablespoon of castor sugar to the boil, remove from the heat and blend with your immersion blender.
- Pass through a fine sieve to remove the seeds, if it is too thin, place the sauce back into a pot and bring them to a simmer.
- Thicken with arrowroot or cornflour, I prefer to use arrowroot as it gives the coulis a glossy finish when cooled.
Other Sweet Fruits Sauces
A fruit sauce savory or sweet can really bring out the flavors in a dish. You don’t need to be an expert chef or talented home cook, all you need is passion and creativity!
I’ve shared with you some sweet and savory fruit-based sauces, now you can start making delicious restaurant-quality sauces at home.
The best part about making your own fruit sauces is that they’re easy and inexpensive to produce. Be adventurous and try new flavor combos, you’ll be surprised with what you come up with.
Because this was how all the great dishes of today were created by people being adventurous!
Making delicious pasta sauces doesn’t have to be difficult, but by following these simple guidelines you’ll find it much easier than you imagined.
Vegetable Based Sauces
Vegetable-based sauces can be used as an alternative to mayonnaise or aioli (garlic mayo) in many of your dishes and they’re not only healthier but just as flavorful too!
Some of my favorite vegetable sauce recipes include simple ingredients like carrots, capsicums aka peppers, mushrooms, and pumpkin.
The first one that I will mention is the fire-roasted capsicum sauce which tastes smoky and sweet and it pairs well with shellfish or fish.
The second sauce that I will mention is a carrot and thyme sauce, which has an interesting flavor profile because of the sweet carrots and aromatic thyme.
Finally, the third sauce is a simple but tasty pumpkin and rosemary sauce, which when paired with pork or chicken, roasted mushrooms, or green vegetables like beans is delicious.
These three sauces are quick and easy to make and add a professional finish to your dishes that will impress your family and friends.
Remove the pumpkin seeds, peel, and dice, place into a pot add the fresh rosemary springs along with garlic and double cream, enough to cover the pumpkin.
Bring to a boil and simmer until the pumpkin is soft, blend with an immersion blender this will pull the sauce together, and season with Himalayan pink salt. Pass pumpkin sauce through a fine sieve, the sauce will have a creamy earthy flavor and a velvet texture.
When you are making a vegetable-based sauce for your meal, think about what you want the outcome to be. Thinking about what you want to achieve with your sauce, will help narrow down the best ingredients and flavors to use.
For instance, if you are looking for a healthy option that is flavorful but not spicy, think of using garlic as one of the main ingredients along with some type of onion such as shallot or white onion.
These types of vegetables offer great flavor without adding any spice. Another example is if you are wanting to make a rich pumpkin or cauliflower sauce, the use of the cream will work to add body to the sauce.
These vegetables provide an excellent texture and flavor for sauces without adding too much weight. If you’re looking for something more savory, mushrooms are a great option because they have such deep earthy umami flavor that inherent savoriness.
How To Make Mushroom Sauce For Steak
Place 7 oz or 200gms of sliced button mushrooms into a pot and sweat on low heat until the water starts to leach out. Add 1 Tbsp of onion powder and garlic powder and a splash of white wine.
Turn up the heat and reduce slightly to remove the alcohol, add one cup of cream, and simmer to reduce. The sauce will start to thicken slightly this should take about 5 – 10 minutes, season with Himalayan pink salt.
If you’re looking for a way to add some flavor, color, and moisture into your home cooking without breaking the bank or going on a hunt for exotic ingredients – then fruit and vegetable sauces are just what you need.
These delicious sauces can be used as accompaniments to meats, seafood, vegetables, and even desserts!
The best part is that they’re incredibly easy to make at home, so start thinking outside the box when it comes to dinner tonight. There are endless combinations that will leave you feeling satisfied in every way possible.
#3 Making Emulsion Sauces
What Is An Emulsion Sauce
Emulsion sauces are a type of sauce that is made by combining two liquids, typically one fat-based and one water-based, into a single mixture. This process is also called “emulsification.”
Emulsion sauces are made with oil, butter, or ghee (clarified butter) and an acid such as lemon juice, or vinegar. The thickening of these sauces is achieved by an emulsion of the oil or butter and the egg yolks.
The most common example of this type of sauce is mayonnaise, hollandaise, and béarnaise because the main ingredient is egg yolk which makes it creamy.
Making emulsion sauces is a skill that all chefs should know and home cooks need to know. The best emulsion sauces are made from scratch and they will make your dishes taste better than ever before.
They can be tricky to make but with the right guidance, you’ll be making delicious restaurant-quality sauces at home and have that perfect sauce in no time!
What Emulsion Sauces Are Best For Steak
The type of emulsion sauce you choose should depend on what kind of steak dish you are cooking. If you’re grilling beef tenderloin, rib eye, or striploin then Béarnaise is a universally used emulsion sauce. With its piquant flavor profile which comes from the tarragon and vinegar reduction.
Béarnaise which starts out like hollandaise but has the addition of tarragon, I always have a tarragon vinegar reduction on hand and it has lasted for years.
Restaurants I have worked in have had large containers of this tarragon reduction which has been there for many years, they just keep adding to it.
There is almost a fermentation process going on that creates this amazing tarragon vinegar. Having a reduction like this in your refrigerator will help when making delicious restaurant-quality sauces at home.
How To Make Hollandaise Sauce Video
#4 How To Make Herb Pesto That Is Restaurant-Quality
As you may know, traditional pesto is an Italian sauce made of toasted crushed pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and basil leaves blended with olive oil.
However, I like to experiment and use other varieties of herbs fresh herbs like coriander, thyme, rosemary, or parsley. I’ve experimented with different ingredients for my pesto and found that cashews give a creamy texture to the sauce.
For best results, soak your raw cashew nuts in water overnight before making your pesto! Another idea I found was toasting Parmesan cheese before adding it to my pesto recipe which gave me a subtle roasted flavor.
Making pesto doesn’t have to be complicated and doesn’t have to be made with just basil, to make pesto at home, all you need is a countertop blender.
You’ll need other ingredients like good quality virgin olive oil, parmesan cheese, fresh garlic cloves, pine nuts, walnuts, or cashews to create your own custom blend.
Pesto will last for 7 days in the refrigerator so it’s best to make just what you’ll need per meal if making enough for more than one or two days.
Pesto has many uses – mixing it into pasta, topping on pizzas, brushed onto some cooked chicken, mixed into potato mash, or spread onto sandwiches and wraps as well!
Making your own pesto is a great way to make meals colorful, healthier, and more flavorful. I’ve found that making pesto at home is not only a delicious way to control the ingredients in my food, but it also helps me save money.
Experiment and use other varieties of herbs such as coriander thyme rosemary or parsley for your pesto concoctions. Cashews give the pesto a creamy texture but walnuts are also great in this recipe too!
Try these ideas out at home – you won’t regret making restaurant-quality pesto from your own kitchen!
You don’t have to be intimidated by this task of making delicious restaurant-quality sauces at home.
When it comes to sauces, making your own from scratch is not only the best way to enjoy the flavor but also a great way to take control of what goes in them!
For those who have never tried making sauces before, I’ve written out some recipes and tips that will help you get started. All you need are these ingredients and then follow my step-by-step instructions for success!
There are so many easy ways to make sauces for meat, poultry, and vegetables that taste just as good (or better) than anything you can buy at the store!
Not only will these dishes save you money in the long run, but they’ll also give your family a healthier option as well.
This is one cooking project were thinking outside the box pays off big time – and I’m here to help with our step-by-step instructions on how to do it.
After reading about sauces, you should feel like a sauce expert.
You now know the difference between an emulsion and reduction, what goes into making each one of them perfect for your dish, and how to create the best sauces at home with just a few simple ingredients!
Now that you’ve mastered these culinary techniques, try it out on your next recipe. Think outside the box! Start making your own sauces today. Ready? Let’s go and start making delicious restaurant-quality sauces at home!