Two ways to make Jus Lié sauce

Jus lié – frequently used as the modern alternative to brown sauce and sauce demi-glace – is brown meat or poultry stock (or a combination of the two) thickened with diluted cornflour or arrowroot with the addition of fried colored vegetables, herbs and tomato purée, all cooked together for 1-3 hours.

To suggest that jus lié is a thickened gravy within the general use of the term is misleading. However, a thickened gravy is used extensively when pot roasting certain white meats such as veal and turkey, when the liquid may be completed as a jus lié of the meat in question.

It would appear that jus lié has taken the place of demi-glace as a basis for all brown sauces in most catering units, its subtle flavour being more acceptable to today’s tastes.

Several different ways of producing jus lié are employed, but broadly speaking they follow the two methods outlined below.

Makes: 5 litres. Cooking time: 2 hours.

Method 1

Ingredients:
200 g dripping
400 g carrots
400 g onions
200 g leek
200 g celery
5 liters brown stock (generally a combination of veal, chicken and beef)
120 g cornflour or arrowroot diluted with cold water
400 g squashed tomatoes
400 g mushroom trimmings
100 g tomato puree
1 small sprig thyme
2 bay leaves
1 clove garlic

Method:
(1) Lightly fry the vegetables to a light brown colour, drain off all the excess fat and retain for other use.
(2) Boil the brown stock, skim off all traces of fat and scum.
(3) Lightly thicken with the diluted arrowroot or cornflour.
(4) Add the drained lightly fried vegetables, tomato purée, squashed tomatoes and mushroom trimmings and herbs.
(5) Allow to simmer, skimming throughout the cooking process.

Method 2

Ingredients:
200 g dripping
2 kg bones, beef, chicken or veal cut or chopped very small and free from excess fat
400 g carrots
400 g onions
200 g leek
200 g celery
1 small sprig thyme
3 bay leaves
1 clove garlic
6 liters stock
120 g cornflour or arrowroot diluted with cold water
400 g squashed tomatoes
400 g mushroom trimmings
100 g tomato puree

Method:
(1) Place the dripping, vegetables, bones and herbs into a roasting tray; place in a hot oven and lightly brown. Drain off all excess fat.
(2) Place the lightly browned bones and vegetables in a deep sided saucepan, cover with cold stock and bring to the boil.
(3) Skim off all traces of fat and scum.
(4) Lightly thicken with the diluted arrowroot or cornflour.
(5) Add the squashed tomatoes, mushroom trimmings and tomato purée.
(6) Allow to simmer, skimming continuously throughout the cooking process.
(7) When cooked strain the sauce, reboil and use as required.

Assessment of the completed sauce
(1) The sauce should be a rich tomato brown in colour but translucent with a definite sheen.
(2) It should be very light in consistency and should easily coat items of food.
(3) It should be seasoned to bring out the meaty characteristics of the stock from which it has been produced.
(4) The sauce should not appear gluey in texture but smooth and free from all particles of food.

Possible problem, cause and solution
(1) Sauce lacks flavor:
— basic stock lacks flavor; care must be taken when preparing the stock as this cannot be later rectified.
— sauce under-cooked; continue to cook for the prescribed time.

(2) Sauce is too pale
— basic stock lacks color; care must be taken when preparing the stock although the color may be adjusted with a little gravy browning.
— insufficient tomato purée; add a little more purée and cook for a further half hour.

(3) Sauce is bitter
— overcooked stock used; care must be taken when preparing the stock as this cannot later be rectified.
— vegetables overcolored or burnt; care must be taken in the initial stages as this cannot be rectified.

(4) Completed stock is starchy and gluey in texture
— sauce not sufficiently cooked once thickening agent has been added; continue to cook until the required consistency is achieved.
— too much thickening used; dilute with a little more stock.

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