4 Foolproof Sauces

Four Sauces
  • 3 servings
  • 5 minutes to prepare
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  • Peppercorn Sauce:
  • 2-3tbsp mixed peppercorns
  • 60g butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 100ml brandy
  • 100ml beef stock
  • 60ml double cream
  • Hollandaise Sauce:
  • 125g butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • squeeze of lemon juice
  • Cheese Sauce:
  • 30g butter
  • 30g plain flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 100g mature cheddar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Thai Dipping Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup of fresh lime juice
  • 2 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 2tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
  • 1tsp minced garlic
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped


Peppercorn Sauce


  1. Crush the peppercorns slightly, either using a mortar and pestle or a rolling pin.
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and peppercorns and cook until soft.
  2. Add the brandy and boil for another couple of minutes. Add the beef stock and boil for a further 1-2 minutes.
  3. Finally, add the cream and reduce the heat to medium. Heat through, but don’t allow the peppercorn sauce to boil.
  4. Once the sauce is at your desired thickness, test for seasoning. Add salt, if necessary, then serve with your favourite steak.

Chefs Tip:

It may seem like a lot of pepper, but it does cook out so you can always add a little more.

Hollandaise Sauce


  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and keep the butter warm.
  2. Put the egg yolks, white wine vinegar, a pinch of salt and a splash of ice-cold water in a bowl over a small pan of barely simmering water and whisk continuously for 3-5 minutes until pale and thick.
  3. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the melted butter bit by bit until it’s all incorporated and you have a creamy hollandaise. (If it gets too thick, add a splash of water.)
  4. Season with a squeeze of lemon juice and keep warm until needed.

Chefs tip:

Keep an ice cube handy for when whisking the egg yolks. If you notice them starting to split put the ice cube in this should rescue the yolks.

Cheese Sauce


  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  2. Stir in the flour and cook for 1–2 minutes.
  3. Gradually, stir in the milk. Ensure that the milk is completely absorbed, and the sauce is smooth and shiny before each addition of more milk. This will help ensure you get a smooth sauce with no lumps. Once all the milk is added, keep stirring, and bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
  4. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in the cheese and allow it to melt. Don’t re-boil the sauce or it will become stringy.

Chefs tip

Try adding chipotle chilli flakes for a smokey flavour with a gentle kick of spice.

Thai Dipping Sauce


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let the sauce stand for at least 30 minutes before serving to let the flavours develop and blend.

Chefs tip:

Using Birds Eye chilli will make this even hotter if you really like spice.