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Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making, 3rd Edition Hardcover – September 22, 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 224 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The winner of the James Beard Foundation Cookbook of the Year Award when it was first published nearly two decades ago, Sauces is, in the words of Mark Bittman, "the single contemporary reference on the subject that is both comprehensive and comprehensible." Through two successful editions, it has established itself as a modern cookbook classic—and an essential reference for every serious cook.

James Peterson trained as a chef in France, and the book offers a thorough grounding in the art of classical French sauce making, from velouté, béchamel, and demi-glace to hollandaise, mayonnaise, and crème anglaise. But Peterson also presents a wide variety of lighter contemporary sauces—including pan sauces, purées, and vinaigrettes—as well as sauces from around the world, including salsas, pasta sauces, and Asian-style dipping and curry sauces. Best of all, he includes recipes not just for sauces, but for finished dishes. These recipes give Sauces a broader scope, showing how good cooking and sauce making are intimately related—and demonstrating how a correctly prepared sauce can transform a well-cooked dish into something truly sublime.

Now, with this new edition, Peterson has thoroughly revised and expanded Sauces to make it even more indispensable. You'll find more than sixty all-new recipes for dishes that showcase the leading role of sauces in cooking, such as Chicken Tagine with Harissa Sauce, Osso Buco with Julienned Vegetables, Lobster à la Nage, and Gold-Plated Chicken with Ginger, Saffron, and Almonds. There are intriguing historical recipes from medieval and seventeenth-century Europe as well as broth-based classics such as Pot au Feu and Bollito Misto. And, by popular request, Peterson at last includes a recipe for traditional American Roast Turkey with Giblet Gravy.

This new edition has been completely redesigned to make it easier to use and includes more than thirty beautiful new color photographs of finished dishes with sauces. If you're a fan of the book's previous editions, you should note that Peterson has not cut any recipes for this edition, and that he has reinstated the popular sauce charts that appeared in the first edition.

Lively, erudite, and authoritative, Sauces remains the definitive modern work on the subject. And with this edition's additional recipes—there are now a total of 440—it is now even more valuable as a general cookbook. You'll find all the techniques and know-how you need to master the art of sauce making, and you'll also discover how sauces can take your cooking to a whole new level.

Exclusive Recipe Excerpts from Sauces: Classical and Contemporary Sauce Making

Béarnaise and Hollandaise

Coq Au Vin

Pear-Butterscotch Sauce


"...bound to become a culinary icon...Any serious cook will want to own this book." (MostlyFood.co.uk, November 20th 2008)

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 3rd edition (September 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470194960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470194966
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.7 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (224 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've been dabbeling in sauces for a number of years in my home kitchen. In my considerable collection of cookbooks none attempt to teach a culinary subject with the thoroughness of this effort. The book assumes a general knowledge of cooking, such as what temperature to roast your chicken at, and focuses on the theory behind what your sauce should do. While the book contains many recipes, they are presented as illustrations of various types of classic sauces. The author encourages the reader to experiment and fine tune their sauce efforts by illustrating the classic techniques and recipes.
In all my years cooking and collecting cookbooks this is the first cookbook that I have read cover to cover. While you can simply peruse the recipes and use the book as a reference it really shines when read in its entirety. If one is really interested in French sauces and the theory and technique behind them, this book is all that will ever be needed on the subject. And if you're wondering what kind of sauce to make with those lamb chops tonight...
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Format: Hardcover
"Sauces" is a book for professionals and serious home chefs and is the first book I've seen that compares and contrasts both classical and modern sauce-making methods. The author emphasizes the importance of quality stocks in sauce-making and points out that a stock appropriate for older, roux-based techniques is often inappropriate for more modern, reduction techniques. This explains why the stocks formulated in, say, the French Culinary Institute's "Salute to Healthy Cooking" are so much more concentrated than those in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" and other classic French cooking texts. Peterson also includes methods for pan-prepared (integral) sauces that offer the professional and home cook alike a rapid way to prepare an impressive array of fine foods.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This tome on sauce making is easily the most thorough coverage I have ever been exposed to. Well, it's the only one I've been exposed to, and I doubt there is anything as complete as this.

Readable, in-depth, expansive, edifying, and complete.

This is a book that needs to be studied and intellectually digested over a period of time as if one were attending college to become a world class chef. This is professional material and should be treated accordingly.

A prized gift for the professional, the potential professional, and the (really) serious home cook.

That being said, if you want to just whip up a quick sauce in the pan, I'm not sure this will serve your needs. There are dozens of sauce recipes, and they're good, but the idea behind the book is to teach you how to use a particular technique, then apply your knowledge in your own unique way. This is a "get a PHD in sauces", not a whip-it-up-quick index card recipe book.

Twenty muscular chapters include:
1. A Short History of Sauce Making
2. Equipment
3. Ingredients
4. Stocks, Glaces, and Essences
5. Liaisons: An Overview
6. White Sauces for Meat and Vegetables
7. Brown Sauces
8. Stock-Based and Non-Integral Fish Sauces
9. Integral Meat Sauces
10. Integral Fish and Shellfish Sauces
11. Crustacean Sauces
12. Jellies and Chauds-Froids
13. Hot Emulsified Egg Yolk Sauces
14. Mayonnaise-Based Sauces
15. Butter Sauces
16. Salad Sauces, Vinaigrettes, and Relishes
17. Pruees and Puree-Thickened Sauces
18. Pasta Sauces
19. Asian Sauces
20. Dessert Sauces

A superb instructional manual that will make you an expert if you study and apply some effort. It gets my highest rating and reccommendation for anyone who craves praise for their cooking prowess (like me).

- Alleyrat
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Format: Hardcover
`Sauces, 2nd Edition ' by leading food teacher and writer James Peterson is high on my list of important, valuable single subject cookbooks which should be in the kitchen library of any serious amateur chef or professional chef in training.

The very first impression is the very large number of named sauces listed in the table of contents. And, it should be no surprise at all that almost every one of these sauces has a French name, even if the sauce is based on a non-French ingredient such as Sauce Hongroise based on paprika and Sauce Porto based on Port (originating in Portugal). Of the chapters covering eighteen different kinds of sauce, only one, the chapter on `Salad Sauces, Vinaigrettes, Salsas, and Relishes' has even the slimmest majority of recipes with a non-French cant, with its large selection of Spanish and New World salsas, south Asian chutneys, Greek mint lamb sauce, and American cranberry sauce.

The book opens with a short history of sauces, which becomes more interesting the more you know about Medieval and Renaissance cooking. The book even gives something missing from books on medieval cooking, the outline of an actual recipe for the ubiquitous verjuice, which was the Medieval and Renaissance source for sour tastes, which could be prepared from either grapes or apples. Just for fun, Peterson gives a few samples of Medieval and Renaissance recipes. The most interesting observation I found for culinary history was the statement that in the Middle Ages, sauces were thickened by pureeing meat, which is not at all surprising, as Medieval nobility looked down on all vegetable products (such as flour?) and preferred animal ingredients and spices in their dishes.
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