Far be it for me to challenge one of the UK’s leading chefs, but…..! MasterChef the Professionals, co-presenter and holder of three Michelin stars, Marcus Wareing set a challenge for the chefs in the competition to make a Chasseur sauce to accompany meat raviolis. I was surprised to see him make it using brandy and cream. When I was Deputy Manager of an hotel in Glasgow in the 70’s I questioned my head chef on his description of Chicken Chasseur. I said it should have red wine in it and he assured me it should be white wine and proceeded to supply reference books from the greatest chefs of years gone by: Larouuse, Pellaprat and Escoffier. He was right and also I can confirm that there was not a drop of brandy or cream in sight.
The classic Chasseur (or hunter’s sauce to give it its translation) is made with shallots, mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, tarragon, white wine and demi-glace sauce.
Having said that, over the years, chefs change and adapt recipes to suit their tastes. Or as my ‘Thought of the Day’ said the other day:
Other chefs have different interpretations as well. James Martin, a lover of all things French, puts bacon, red wine and cream in his! Personally the only person I have found that uses brandy is Marcus. Having said that I make a sauce that was a bastardisation of a Steak Diane, which became known as Monkey Gland Steak. I have no idea why, as a Monkey Gland sauce is not the same!! Anyway, for fun I am showing you my Chicken chasseur which is nearly the same as the original and my version of Monkey Gland Steak! See my recipe section.