BTW: Sometimes a vinegrette is considered a sauce. There is debate as to whether there are 5 or 6 mother sauces. I tend to think of vinegrette as a dressing more than a sauce, and some think that the vinegrette is one of the 5 mother sauces and tomato is the 6th. Depends on who you talk to.
In order to make a quart demi glace you need to first make a quart of espagnole, add a quart of brown stock and reduce to 9/10 of a quart and finish with 1/10 of a quart of sherry, so demi glace is not actually a master sauce since a master sauce is required in order to make it.
Demi is sometimes included as a mother sauce by some because there are so many sauces which derive from it. Johnson and Wales (the culinary school that Kate and I both attended) teaches that there are 6 mother sauces: Bechamel, Espagnol, Tomato, Hollandaise, Veloute and Demi-Glace. So, it just depends who you ask.
Doc has a good point regarding vinaigrettes. They are used more and more often now on entree's, have many derivatives and are an emulsion like hollandaise.
I don't agree with the vinaigrette being a mother sauce. You have to be able to derive other sauces from a mother sauce. Vinaigrettes have their own flavors, ie., raspberry, balsamic. You can't derive a balsamic from a raspberry or either from a plain white vinegar/oil vinaigrette, hence it's not a mother sauce.
I've tried three times now to reply to this thread. I don't know why my posts keep not showing up!
I read once that the French consider a sauce has to be so delectable that it can be eaten by itself. Now I can eat a bechamel, a veloute, an espagnole, a tomatoe, and a hollandaise by itself, But I stop short of being able to eat a vinegrette by itself. Therefore by this French perspective, I still tend to not think of vingrettes as sauces.
I also don't think of a demi-glace as a mother sauce, but then, one can contemplate Auguste Escoffier's definition of "demi-glace" as the "perfection of a brown sauce".
Now if "demi-glace" is the perfection of a "brown sauce", one must ask whether the perfection of any "mother sauce" is still a mother sauce or a derivative sauce!
not to create more havoc (ok thats my purpose odf this reply) but since Bearnaise is not a derivative of Hollandaise, what is it?....and dressing in my opinion doesnt count as a sauce unless you are also going to include all cold emulsions such as mayo. Demi...true demi and even more so to the point espagnole are dead. the use of roux in brown sauces is pointless in finer restaurants these days, and saying that espagnole and Demi are both mother sauces is redundant. The only thing you would make if you had espagnole would be demi, but since thats a bunch of pointless bother....if chewy is a whookie and lives with it ewoks..it makes no sense.
I think when I asked this question-- I believe it was here, a couple years ago-- I could not find it in Google either. The answers vary. My problem was, the chef asked us as sort of a take-home question, so I could not ask him, either!
The answer does depend on what they want you to know. Each school, even each chef, will tell you something different. Find out the answer your particular chef wants to know.
Actually, I was just told in class today about bearnaise and whether its a mother sauce or a derivative of hollandaise. Its made the same way as a hollandaise only flavored with terragon. But some people argue that bearnaise is a reduction with the terragon making it a totally different sauce from hollandaise.
For my red seal test though, a bearnaise isn't a mother sauce.
to put an end to the confusion, hollandaise and bernaise are categorized as butter sauces. they are made the same way, except we all know that bernaise includes tarragon. further i would not advice just to add hollandaise sauce into a bernaise reduction, as the the poaching of egg yolk and reduction is important to develop the flavor.
bernaise has a stronger flavor, is traditionally served to grilled items, hollandaise is milder and served with vegetables at times blended into sauces and possibly also gratinated
went into some old book, a menu dated 1809, 28 november in the restaurant of the Very brothers in Paris they served 'des escalopes de saumon a l'espagnole'. in that period of Antonin Carême, the official brown sauce must have been the espagnole was also cheaper. however it was him who started to classify sauces like basic and great brown sauces, basic i believe they refered to the base stocks. the espagnole i agree is a fore runner to the demi glace, an could be considered as a mother sauce. howevver i will try to gather more historical facts from my retired teacher and let you all know, however, i am still surprised, that we use espagnole still today in the US, in europe that sauce is not used anymore. we always refer to the demi glace or a brown veal stock, when preparing brown sauces. maybe the french still cook it.
Thanks to all who answered---It has been great fun, and educational as well. It turns out I had made all of them before, I just didn't know what they were!! It seems like few people get tired of talking about sauces ( I especially liked the thread on "demi" that I found elsewhere on this site), and I really appreciate the input.
I was a bit surprised by the apparent sarcastic nature of a couple of responses...This was an honest question, and it was not for a test!! I am a 50 year old commodity broker who loves to cook, and I didn't have a freaking classic french cook book handy.
Thanks again to all---I have to limit myself to 60 minutes a day to reading all the older threads, or I seem to not get anything done at work!!
actually, demi-glace, is an espangole, with madiera or sherry wine added, usually reduced by about half, which makes it a direct derivative or espangole. remember: mother sauces are MOTHER sauces; ie: they are the theoretical parents of all other sauces.