Also Called The Hunter’s Sauce
I may be saying it wrong but I pronounce it “sauce (cha-SURE)” and love the sound of it when I say it. Sort of like saying “Worcestershire sauce” or as we say in our house, “whats-this-here-sauce”.
Sauce Chasseur is the perfect sauce to serve with wild game including rabbit, venison, and wild fowl but is also great on beef, pork or chicken. Chasseur is the French word for “hunter” and thus where it received its name, Hunter’s Sauce.
Chasseur Sauce History
If you believe what you read on the Internet (and I do in this case) Chasseur sauce was invented by the honorable French Duke Phillippe De Mornay back in the 1600’s where he was the Governor of Saumur, a historic town in western France between the Loire and Thouet rivers.
If the name Mornay sounds at all familiar, you may be thinking of another classic French sauce called Mornay, a béchamel sauce with shredded Gruyere cheese added to it that was also invented by the Duke. He is even given credit for inventing Béchamel sauce, sauce Lyonnaise and sauce Porto making him an extremely creative nobleman.
About Chasseur Sauce
Basically a brown sauce made with demi glace as a base with some combination of shallots, mushrooms, tomatoes, white wine and herbs (usually parsley). Legend has it hunters would forage for mushrooms on their way home from the hunt and add them to the sauce. Sounds logical.
If you can’t find any quality demi glace at any of your local markets, you can try reducing some beef stock down and substitute that but please don’t use any powdered demi products you find in an envelope at some supermarkets. You will be disappointed.
If you don’t have the opportunity to forage for wild mushrooms on your way home from work tonight or can’t find any in your local supermarket, you can always substitute white button or cremini mushrooms. And if you’re not cooking any wild game like venison, maybe it’s better to stay away from those wild mushrooms and stick with the cultivated ones. Just kidding.
A very important ingredient when preparing this Chasseur sauce and not always easy to find so I’ve provided a recipe for making your own demi glace. I have to warn you, it’s not the easiest recipe to make. It takes a lot of time and effort and if you mess it up….. well, let’s just say you don’t want to mess it up. If you do take the time to make it at home, it’s well worth the effort.
If you don’t want to make it at home and I completely understand why you wouldn’t, there are some really good commercial alternatives out there. On my demi glace recipe page I offer some of these commercial products at the end of the recipe. I’ve been using one of them for almost 20 years now and always have them on hand. They are that good!