sauce robert

Sauce Robert (pronounced ro-baire), says the Escoffier Encyclopedia, dates at least from the year 1552 and attributed to someone named Robert Vinot. Others favor a still earlier author and beginning. Needless to say, it’s an old recipe.

One used to be able to buy commercially bottled versions of it in food markets. Alas, such products seem to have disappeared from the shelves of markets in my neighborhood, and so have been pressed into making my own.

The classic recipe calls for “butter or lard” in making the roux on which the sauce is based. With great respect to its author, whom ever he may have been, I nevertheless have adapted the recipe to use unsaturated fat, and very little of it.

Traditionally, this sauce is served with pork. But I have also found it is excellent with beef, chicken, and fish.

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp granulated chicken bouillon
  • 2 oz fat-free liquid butter spray
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

Put the oil in a saucepan with the onion, and cook over moderate heat until the onion just browns (i.e., caramelizes), stirring frequently to prevent the onion from getting black (i.e., burned). Add the flour and continue cooking until the mixture turns nut-brown.

Add the liquid while stirring the pot vigorously to make a thin, smooth liquid. If you have not chopped the onion very finely, you may wish to pop it into the blender for a short buzz to smoothen the liquor. Then return the liquid to the pot and turn up the heat to a happy (allegro) simmer, and let the liquid reduce by about one-third. At this point, the sauce should just begin to coat a spoon.

Remove from the heat, add and whip in the butter flavoring and then the mustard.

Makes about one cup.