White Wine Veloute

The first time I made this simple sauce, a reduction of wine and cream, I was knocked out by its brilliance and simplicity. Every time I make it, I wonder why I don’t find an excuse to make it every night.

This sauce is fantastic with white fish and chicken, and with just a little thought you can add herbs and other aromatics to take it even higher. Using the best ingredients is crucial whatever you are making, especially when making a sauce. Make sure you use wine and vermouth that you would like to drink – if it’s a nasty wine it will give you a nasty sauce.


RECIPE makes around 500ml

25g unsalted butter

3 banana shallots, finely chopped

200ml dry white wine

200ml dry vermouth

400ml fish, vegetable or chicken stock

300ml creme fraiche


Melt the butter in the widest saucepan that you own. Stir in the shallots and saute gently for about ten minutes until soft but not coloured.

Pour in the white wine and vermouth, turn the heat right up and boil until the liquid has reduced by half – a wide saucepan makes this process quicker.

Add the stock, return to the boil and once again reduce the liquid by half.

Stir in the creme fraiche and simmer gently until the sauce is the consistency of single cream and will coat the back of a spoon.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and strain the sauce through a fine sieve.

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