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NO.53
SUMMER2017

Boulestin’s Worcestershire curry sauce

Boulestin’s Worcestershire curry sauce, which of course he calls Sauce à l’indienne. It is a basic English white sauce with a hint of flavoring and none the worse for that; a good choice form napping simple grilled fish or chicken. For two or three; may be doubled at the same proportions.


  • Worcestershire_curries_drawing007.jpg2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour (preferably Wondra)
  • generous ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • about 1 cup milk
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • scant ¼ teaspoon mace
  • generous ½ teaspoon Worcestershire
  • another Tablespoon unsalted butter

  1. Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat and whisk in the flour. Cook the roux until the flour loses its raw color but do not let it color.
  2. Whisk the curry powder into the roux and then slowly add the milk followed by a little salt and white pepper, the mace and Worcestershire.
  3. Slowly whisk the sauce “till it has the proper consistency, which is that of cream,” and then gild the lily by gently stirring the last Tablespoon of butter into the sauce.

Notes:

-Boulestin adds saffron--“the quantity,” he says, “is rather a question of taste”--but it is expensive and tends to get lost among the curry and Worcestershire. If you like it, the saffron goes into the roux before the curry powder at Step 2.

-Boulestin would not have been so generous with the curry and Worcestershire as the Editor, let alone Jamie Oliver. Very much a man of his time in this if not many other respects, Boulestin sought their hint rather than essence; “in any case the flavour of curry powder or that of Lea & Perrins Sauce should not be overpowering, or, indeed, recognizable. It is the happy blending of spices which makes the sauce perfect.”

-He continues: “Needless to say, it should be absolutely smooth,” which is why we urge readers to choose Wondra. Unless you are utterly without any touch in the kitchen (like the Editor on a bad, bad day of pizza delivery) it will not produce lumpy sauce.

-All quotations are from page viii of Subtle Seasoning: A Collection of Recipes for Epicures and Others (Worcester, England 1926)