This section is from the book "Mrs. Allen's Cook Book", by Mrs. Ida C. Bailey Allen. See also: The Conscious Cook: Delicious Meatless Recipes That Will Change the Way You Eat.
Brown sauce is used whenever it is advisable to add to a dish a combination of seasonings that are not very delicate. Many authorities assert that in making brown sauce the butter or other fat and the flour should be heated until very brown, and that the stock should be added just as the milk is poured in when making white sauce. However, I do not find this method satisfactory or advisable, for the fat must always be heated to decomposing point, which makes it hard to digest. A much better plan is to keep on hand a small quantity of browned flour. To prepare this, spread the flour in a shallow pan and let it stand in a slow oven until the edges begin to turn a reddish-brown tint. Stir this, and continue heating until the whole is of a reddish-brown color. This not only assists in coloring the sauce, but also gives a rich nutty flavor.
The proportions to be observed in making brown sauce are the same as those for making white sauce - with this exception: in making a thin brown sauce use a tablespoon-ful and a half of the browned flour to a tablespoonful of fat and a cupful of well-seasoned brown soup stock. When the sauce is done, add not more than three drops of "Kitchen Bouquet" to a cupful of soup stock to give it more color if desired.
If a vegetable flavor, such as onion or celery, is to be added to the sauce, it may be done in two ways. In the case of the white sauce, it is preferable to add onion in the form of onion juice (not onion extract), or if this is not desirable, add half an onion to the sauce when the milk is partly in, and remove it just before serving. Celery tips may be used in the same way. The second method of adding vegetables should preferably be used only in making brown sauce, and when the fat used is other than butter. The vegetables should then be fried gently in the fat until almost tender. Then the other ingredients should be added according to the directions given.
The following suggestions give the proportions of ingredients, and the uses for various modified sauces, based upon the general directions for the white and brown sauces already described.
4 tablespoonfuls butter 4 tablespoonfuls flour 1 cupful chicken stock
1 cupful cream
Make according to above directions and stir in just before serving two egg yolks diluted with two tablespoonfuls of cream. Use with rice timbales, sliced breast of chicken, panned oysters, cauliflower, and so on.
1 1/2 cupfuls brown or chicken stock 4 tablespoonfuls flour 4 tablespoonfuls butter 1/2 cupful cream
1/2 tablespoonful minced onion or 1 teaspoonful onion juice 1/2 cupful cut mushrooms
Saute (fry) the mushrooms and onions in butter until softened (about five minutes). Then add the flour and, gradually, the stock. Let boil hard; add the cream, season and serve.