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What is a Jardiniere sauce?

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Quick Answer

Jardiniere sauce is the liquid component of a French vegetable stew of the same name. Its principal ingredients are carrots, turnips, cauliflower and onion. As the sliced vegetables cook, they release large amounts of water, which mingles with the spices, butter, meat stock and other ingredients in the pan. Cooks who prefer a thicker sauce add a slurry of water and flour during the final minutes of cooking.

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Full Answer

Jardiniere sauce is a culinary descendant of sauce espagnol, one of the five "mother" sauces in French cuisine. According to About.com expert Rebecca Franklin, "daughter" sauces based on sauce espagnol include mushroom sauce, demi-glace, Madeira sauce and bordelaise sauce.

The ingredients in bordelaise sauce include red wine, shallots, butter, thyme, salt, beef stock and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Chefs typically serve this flavorful, tangy sauce over steak and roast beef.

Demi-glace is another brown sauce related to Jardiniere sauce. Its concentrated, complex flavor comes from beef stock, sauce espagnol, bay leaf, thyme and parsley. Demi-glace is extremely thick and intended for use in small amounts.

Madeira sauce is a popular variation of demi-glace made with Madeira wine. Its three ingredients are demi-glace, Madeira wine and butter. When demi-glace is already available, Madeira sauce comes together in moments. The sauce is ready to serve immediately after the butter melts.

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