flavourful culinary Solutions

sauces & gravies

kitchen tips


  • Regardless of the sauce being made, never walk away from the sauce pan as it is heating. The vast majority of sauces need to be stirred as they are heated and leaving them alone even for a short period of time could burn or scald the sauce.
  • If you accidentally burn a sauce while you’re cooking, don’t abandon it - and don’t stir it. Pour it into a new pot and continue cooking. The burned portion will stay behind in the original pot and you should be able to rescue the rest of your sauce.
  • Non-stick coated pans should be avoided especially when caramelization is needed to complete the sauce as the coating prohibits the process.
  • If you’ve made your gravy too thick a tiny bit of coffee can thin it back out again.
  • If your sauce is too thick, dilute with broth or water a tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved.
  • Is your sauce too lumpy? Remove it from the heat immediately and toss it in your food processor to smooth out the lumps and blend the flavours. Add some hot water if necessary to assist with the removal of the lumps. Then reheat as needed and serve.
  • Thicken your gravy by adding a tablespoon of instant mashed potatoes. Start there, and add more if needed until it’s the right consistency.
  • For thicker gravy, mix some butter and flour in a frying pan and cook until the mixture is smooth and thick. Add it to your hot gravy for a thick and rich texture.
  • The hardest thing to tell with gravy is how much to make. The general rule of thumb is to make about 1/3 cup of prepared gravy for each person.
  • Cooking any sauce at too high heat setting or for too long can cause most sauces to curdle or break down.
  • Most sauces will thicken, as they cool, so don’t cook too long.
  • Generally, sauces and gravies turn out best if you don't try to rush them along. Cook your roux on medium heat to prevent burning.
  • Is the taste of the sauce much too sweet? Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Too salty? Add a drop of milk, cream, or plain yogourt.
  • Add flavour to your sauce by adding cream, or perhaps various wines and spices, in an effort to liven it up.
  • Mushrooms are good additions to most sauces because they diversify the taste. When adding mushrooms, also add a distilled liquid to further refine the taste, flavour, and aroma of the sauce.
  • Give almost any sauce a satiny texture by whisking in 1 or 2 tablespoons butter just before serving.