Bourgeois Chef™ Meals & Delights

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The German Weisswurst
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Shrimp Tempura
The Spurtle
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Christoph's™ Beef Stroganoff
The Lady Bug
The Dagwood
A Polish Caraway Seed & Dumpling Soup
Key Lime Pie
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brown sauce 01Image may be subject to copyright. Original Source unknown.




Call it a sauce or a gravy. “Gravy” doesn’t exist in Italy, it was in fact, however, invented by Italians from Italy.

During the Americanization process, there was a confusion with the word “Ragu” (A.K.A. Meat Sauce). If you translate “Sugo” to English you get “Sauce” but when you translate “Ragú” to English you get “Ragout.” Ragout is a French-styled stew. Uh, oh! This lead to a difference in opinion. Some Italians choose to call it “Meat Sauce” while some decided to call it “Gravy.” Why gravy? Americans were already using it to describe sauce containing meat. That is actually how it is termed in the definition.

It is rumored that only certain areas started calling it “Gravy.” For example, many people will comment that it’s a ‘Jersey thing.’ However, people from all over the United States use it. This makes it very hard to pinpoint the exact origin. Where ever it may have caught on… Little did they know the aftermath of their choices would disrupt the Italian-American community for all of eternity!

If it is put on meat (beef or poultry) I call it a gravy. If it is put on pork, pasta or vegetables, I call it a sauce. Call it whatever you like.

Credit: For more details go HERE. If you believe him, fine. If you don't believe him, that's fine, too. Oh, and don't send me any letters, or vituperative comments.

Brown Sauce

Brown Sauce

Serves 6 – Preparation time 30 minutes.

brown sauce 01Image may be subject to copyright. Original Source unknown.


Brown Sauce – For 1 Gallon Formula

  • 1 gal. (64 fl. oz.) / 5.6 L Brown Stock
  • 4 Lbs. / 1.81 kg. roasted bones and trim
  • 1 lb. / 454 gr. large diced Mirepoix, well browned
  • Oil, for browning bones, trim and Mirepoix
  • 3 to 4 oz. / 85 to 113 gr. tomato paste
  • 12 oz. / 340 gr. Roux or 1 oz. / 28 gr. arrowroot or other pure starch
  • 1 Sachet d’Épices


Step 1

  • Brown the bones, trim and Mirepoix in the same pot which will be used to simmer the sauce on the stove top at medium-high heat until a deep, rich, golden brown is reached;
  • If browning in the oven at 425 to 450F, add the tomato paste to the roasting pan with the vegetables; if browning on the stove top, add the paste when the vegetables are nearly browned;
  • Allow the tomato paste to cook out until rust colored – to reduce excessive sweetness, acidity and bitterness. Do not allow tomato paste to burn;

Step 2

  • Deglaze the pan and add deglazed liquid to the stock;
  • Add browned bones, trim and mirepoix to the stock and simmer for 2 to 4 hours.
  • Let the sauce base simmer until it has a rich flavor;
  • Skim the surface often throughout the simmering process;

Step 3

  • Add the Sachet or other aromatics as the flavor develops;
  • Remove from heat once the flavors are developed as desired; add a prepared Roux now, if wanted, and simmer until desired thickness is reached.

Step 4

  • Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve or double thickness cheese cloth;
  • Finish as desired; sauce is ready for use or rapidly cool and refrigerate.


Sauce has a rich flavor. The Mirepoix and aromatics should not overpower the main flavor or roasted meat and vegetables. There should be no bitter or burnt flavors.

Sauce should have a deep, brown color without any specks or debris.


Options for Finishing Flavors

Reductions – of wine from deglazing…

Garnish – of precooked, high moisture ingredients (mushrooms, shallots & tomatoes)…

Fortified – wines such as Port, Madeira or sherry…

Butter – cold at room temperature.

Bechamel — White Sauce

Bechamel — White Sauce

Serves 6 – Preparation time 30 minutes.

bechamel 01Image may be subject to copyright. Original Source unknown.


White Sauce – For 1 Gallon Formula

  • 1 gal. (64 fl. oz.) / 3.84 L flavorful liquid (white stock for velouté; milk for bechamel)
  • 1 Sachet d’Épices – minced onions or mushroom trim as desired – and seasonings as appropriate
  • 12 oz. to 1 lb. / 340 to 454 gr. white or blond Roux


Step 1

  • Sweat the aromatics in fat. Any meat trim should be gently cooked with them. To make a roux with the fat, add flour to the aromatics and create the roux. Stir frequently and cook for 4 to 5 minutes as desired or to a light blond color; or, gradually add a warm, prepared roux to the aromatics; whisk until very smooth;
  • Add seasoning, Sachet or other aromatics and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring and tasting frequently – until the raw flour flavor is cooked out;
  • Strain the sauce to remove any top skin of gluey layer from the bottom and sides of the pot;
  • Use the sauce or cool rapidly and refrigerate.


Options for Finishing & Flavors

Liquids for Velouté – White veal stock, Chicken stock, Fish stock, Vegetable stock

Liquids for Béchamel – Milk



Additional seasoning may be added, depending on desired flavors and richness. Mirepoix and vegetable trim from mushrooms or onions are added at the beginning of the cooking process, while a Sachet is added during the last 30 minutes of simmering. When using cheese, it should be grated and stirred in after the sauce has been thickened.

For a Light Consistency for Soups – Add 10 to 12 oz. / 284 to gr. white or blond Roux.

For Medium Consistency for Most Sauces – Increase amount of Roux to 12 to 14 oz. / 340 to 397 gr.

For Heavy Consistency for a Binder for Croquettes – fillings, stuffings or baked pasta dishes amount of Roux to 1 lb. 2 oz. to 1 lb. 4 oz. / 510 to 567 gr.

A heavy Bechamel must be strained by the wringing method, since it is too thick to pass through a fine-mesh strainer.



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All material, information and images are © 2015 - 2023 Christoph G. Olesch, unless otherwise noted, and may not be reproduced without permission. Certain content, material, information and images may be subject to copyrights by their respective owners, as indicated, and may not be reproduced without written agreement. All rights reserved.

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