Redefining Chasseur Sauce

By Joel Schaefer, CCC, and Mary Schaefer, CEPC

“If we’re going to move forward, we need to understand the past.”  — Ferran Adria

Before the 18th century, large pieces of meat were cooked until their juices released andACF 2 caramelized. The pan was then deglazed to create a sauce.

In the 19th century, Marie-Antoine Carême realized how expensive and cumbersome it was to make these sauces. He figured making a standard broth base to use for all sauces would be less expensive and would save time in the kitchen.

Carême organized the French sauces into groups that were based on four foundational sauces. Later, Auguste Escoffier added one more sauce and refined the list to the contemporary five “mother sauces,” which he structured in recipe form in Le Guide Culinaire in 1903.

For food lovers and chefs alike, knowing the five mother sauces is a basic skill that opens a world of culinary possibilities. These sauces serve as the starting point for a myriad of other classics.

We started our journey to redefine the mother sauces into sauces free from gluten and the top eight allergens with Espagnole, a basic brown sauce. Espagnole is the foundation for demi-glacé, which is commonly made into secondary sauces such as Chasseur, Robert, Bordelaise, Mushroom, Madeira, Bercy and Lyonnaise, just to name a few.

The definition for Chasseur is French in origin for huntsman or hunter; a member of a unit in the French Army specially trained and equipped for swift deployment.

Our recipe features Chasseur, a.k.a. Hunter’s Sauce. We choose to braise cauliflower braised cauliflower ACFsteaks from Rouxbe’s Online Plant-Based Professional Cooking Class. Braising the cauliflower elevates the steaks to the next level.

Let’s start cooking, from Espagnole to Demi-Glacé to Chasseur.

Demi-Glacé

Yield: 1 quart

Ingredients

1 quart espagnole

1 quart roasted vegetable stock

Method

  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring espagnole and stock to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until reduced by half or desired consistency, about 40 minutes. Stove and pot all make a big difference on your reduction time.

Now that we have our demi-glacé, there are endless possibilities of recipes we can create, including Pan-Fried Cauliflower Steaks with Chasseur Sauce.

We’ll start by making the Chasseur Sauce.

 Chasseur SauceACF 1

 Yield: 1 ¼ quarts

Ingredients

1 ounce allergen-free margarine, such as Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Sticks (2 tbsp)

6 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 ounces minced shallots (scant ½ cup)

1 cup dry white wine

1 quart demi-glacé

1 cup tomato sauce or 8 ounces diced tomato

2 tsp chopped parsley

Method

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt margarine. Add mushrooms and cook until they are soft and liquid has evaporated.
  2. Add shallots and cook for 30 seconds. Add wine and reduce by ½ – ¾.
  3. Add demi-glacé and tomato sauce. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add parsley and remove from heat.

Pan-Fried Cauliflower Steaks with Chasseur Sauce

Yield: 2 servings

Free of: gluten and all top allergens

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower

2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup dry white wine

2 bay leaves

6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1 cup gluten-free flour blend

1 tsp dried thyme, crushed

1 tsp dried oregano, crushed

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 ½ tsp Kosher salt

½ tsp black pepper

1 cup unsweetened hemp milk

¼ – ½ cup vegetable oil for pan-frying

1 cup Chasseur sauce

1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. With a paring knife, trim leaves from stem of cauliflower. Do not core the cauliflower. Cut center of head in half lengthwise and cut a 1 to 1 ½ inch-thick steak from the interior of each half. Save the scraps for other uses.
  3. In a 7×11-inch baking dish, combine the vegetable stock, wine, bay leaves and garlic. Add the cauliflower steaks and cover tightly with foil. Bake for approximately 30-45 minutes, testing the steaks periodically. The cauliflower should not be overcooked or it will fall apart during frying.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine flour blend, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Mix together with a whisk. Divide and transfer flour mixture into 2 shallow pans.
  5. Place the milk in another shallow pan. Organize your breading station with seasoned flour, milk, followed by second seasoned flour.
  6. Dredge each cauliflower steak in the first seasoned flour. Shake off excess flour and dip into milk to coat all sides. Let excess liquid drain off. Dredge the steak into second seasoned flour and coat evenly, pressing flour on all sides.
  7. Place on baking pan lined with foil. Repeat steps with second steak.
  8. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. The amount of oil will depend on size of pan. Oil should come half way up sides of cauliflower steaks. When oil begins to shimmer, add the cauliflower steaks. Pan fry 3 minutes on each side.
  9. Place a steak onto a plate and serve with Chasseur Sauce, garnished with chopped parsley.

You can catch Joel and Mary at ChefConnect: Newport Beach March 25-27 in Newport Beach, California. Their presentation on Redefining the Mother Sauces will show you how to create classical food without common allergens to accommodate guests with food allergies. 

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Your Allergy Chefs Vision

Our focus in developing recipes centers around eliminating gluten and the top eight food allergens, plus a focus on many other special diets. We respect the food choices of all people. If we do have a recipe containing animal product we will share our love for plants with a delicious vegan option. We know there is no one diet that fits all.

For recipes, questions or help, visit our website and contact us at www.yourallergychefs.com.

3 thoughts

  1. Customers with food allergies are more than just a trendy fad. Their gastronomic lives are complicated with reactive symptoms, for which an alarming portion of diners are life-threatening. How awful it is to sit down with friends at a restaurant or in a University cafe’ and try to order from the menu without anxiety. Dining out is a social event. They don’t want to be “that guy/gal” that orders “just a salad” or an app of warmed olives, when everyone else is keen on a fully loaded dining experience with apps, entree and dessert. How can they possibly relax and enjoy their evening, if they have one hand on their glass of water and the other gripping their Epi-pen in the their pocket?

    I am a working chef at a university in Portland. Between 2016 to 2018, I have seen a 15% increase in our student body attending with food allergies, EVERY SEMESTER. Coming up with allergen-free meal plans for this diverse group has been challenging to say the least. These students have been around town. They don’t want the “fail-safe” Portobello mushroom entree. They want what their friends are having, but without the allergens! They don’t necessarily want “Fakon bacon” or Tofurkey on holidays, either. “Eeew!” (a direct quote from one our SD students)

    I am relishing this article on Redefining Chasseur Sauce! A HUGE thank you to Chefs, Joel and Mary Schaefer for being courageous to create a new branch on the traditional tree of Mother Sauces. This recipe is an excellent example of melding the old standard with nouveau cuisine that solidly surpasses any trendy novelty.
    I am truly looking forward to the ACF Chef Connect in Newport Beach to attend their seminar on Redefining Mother Sauces. More cutting edge, constructive tools for my tool box, to bring to my students’ communal table! Their positive responses and accolades are proof positive that we are heading the right direction to meet their needs, and keeping them engaged in new cuisine! How exciting is that?!

  2. Chef Schmidt,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I feel safe to say you haven’t lost a child or loved one to an anaphylaxis reaction while dining out. I even feel safe to say you don’t have anyone close to you with a life threatening allergy. You’re one of the few lucky ones.

    We believe that handling food allergies is not for all chefs and all restaurants, and that’s okay. Face it, it’s challenging. But with the growing number of guests with food allergies, there are chefs and restaurants that want to make a difference.

    We know that by adapting our beloved mother sauces to be allergy-friendly, what better way for those with food allergies and special diets to be able to enjoy all the same delicious meals made from these sauces. Why can’t everyone enjoy the same meals?

    Would love to share a quote from the King of Kings, Escoffier:
    “It has to be admitted that customs and the way we live have changed since 1850 so cookery too must change. The great works of Dubois and Bernard met the needs of their time but even if they last for ever as documents and as a basis for our methods of working, the pattern which they made so respected no longer meets the requirements of our day.
    We must respect, love and study these great works – they together with the works of Careme must be the basis of our methods of working. But instead of copying them servilely, we ourselves should seek new approaches so that we too may leave behind us methods of working that have been adapted to the customs and needs of our time. 1st February 1907.”

    Wow, the needs of our time involve food allergies. 1 in every 13 children have food allergies. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention report that food allergy in children increased by 50% between 1997 and 2011. And between 1997 & 2008, peanut and tree nut allergy appears to have tripled in U.S. children.

    To end, if I could give you some feedback as well, you need some work on your professionalism, especially if you are part of the ACF.

    Best, Mary

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