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 and 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 steaks 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.
Yield: 1 quart
1 quart espagnole
1 quart roasted vegetable stock
- 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.
Yield: 1 ¼ quarts
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
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt margarine. Add mushrooms and cook until they are soft and liquid has evaporated.
- Add shallots and cook for 30 seconds. Add wine and reduce by ½ – ¾.
- Add demi-glacé and tomato sauce. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add parsley and remove from heat.
Pan-Fried Cauliflower Steaks with Chasseur Sauce
Yield: 2 servings
Free of: gluten and all top allergens
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
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Place the milk in another shallow pan. Organize your breading station with seasoned flour, milk, followed by second seasoned flour.
- 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.
- Place on baking pan lined with foil. Repeat steps with second steak.
- 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.
- 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.
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.