Chef Wayne Talks Techniques: Stocks & Sauces

Melting butter in panI have been discussing the basic techniques that each of you need to know when cooking. We started with roasting, sweating, sauteing and braising, so I thought to finish the techniques I would touch on stocks and sauces as the last areas you need to understand to create great meals.


Making a good stock is not very difficult. Make a big batch, cool, portion and freeze, your stock will last for at least 4 months frozen and can be pulled out when you need it. Your stock can be used in sauces, braising and for soups. In @1800 restaurant, the basic stocks we keep on hand are veal, chicken, fish and mushroom stock. For home I would at least have a nice brown chicken stock on hand. The results of using stock instead of water are a richer flavor and fuller texture to your recipes. Any cookbook will have recipes for stocks; all you need is the time to let them simmer.


In many cases, a sauce can be nothing more than a little stock that is reinforced with flavoring agents— vinegar, wine or fresh herbs. Here is the basic technique for making a sauce:

1) sweat the vegetables in a small amount of oil

2) add some sherry vinegar (or an appropriate vinegar for whatever sauce you need)

3) reduce until very little liquid remains (lower the heat to keep it from burning)

4) add in any herbs and your stock bringing up to a boil and then reduce to medium heat until the desired consistency is reached

5) strain your sauce through a fine strainer

You can find all sorts of recipes in your cookbooks—from simple butter sauces for fish and vegetables to more complicated sauces such as etouffee.

One Response to Chef Wayne Talks Techniques: Stocks & Sauces

  1. Chelsea says:

    How do you make the sauce that goes over the potatoes for the Pistachio Encrusted Tenderloin?

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