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February 01, 2016

Espagnole Sauce

An Espagnole sauce is one of the 5 basic mother sauces. It is better know as a brown sauce. It is made by thickening brown stock with a roux with the addition of tomato puree and a mirepoix for deep flavor and color.

A roux is a mixture of fat and flour. In this sauce butter is used as the fat.

A mirepoix is a combination of onions, celery and carrots, diced and cooked to add flavor to stews and sauces.

In my recent UT non credit cooking class, the students added ground beef and mushrooms to the Espagnole.

Makes 2 cups


1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 celery rib, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups hot beef stock
2 tablespoons canned tomato purée
2 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
For the bouquet garni:
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 California bay leaf
½ teaspoon dried thyme


Tie the bouquet garni ingredients into a cheesecloth sack using a piece of kitchen twine.

In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it becomes frothy.

Add the carrots, onion and celery (mirepoix) and sauté for a few minutes until it's lightly browned. Don't let it burn.

With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the mirepoix a little bit at a time, until it is fully incorporated and forms a thick paste or roux.

Lower the heat and cook the roux for another five minutes or so, until light brown. The roux will have a slightly nutty aroma at this point.
Using a wire whisk, slowly add the stock and tomato purée to the roux, whisking vigorously to make sure it's free of lumps.
Bring to a boil, lower heat, add the bouquet garni and simmer for about 30-45 minutes or until the total volume has reduced by about one-third, stirring frequently to make sure the sauce doesn't scorch at the bottom of the pan. Use a ladle to skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.

Remove the sauce from the heat and remove the bay leaf. For an extra smooth consistency, carefully pour the sauce through a wire mesh strainer.

Serve hot. If not serving the sauce right away, keep it covered and warm until you're ready to use it.

For the Espagnole sauce: Add cooked ground beef and mushrooms and serve over egg noodles.

Other sauces that can be made from a brown sauce include:

When the Espagnole is further refined to produce a rich, deeply flavorful sauce called a demi glace.

Marchand de Vin Sauce- addition of red wine
Robert Sauce- addition of brown mustard
Charcutiere Sauce- addition of onions, mustard and pickles
Lyonnaise sauce- addition of garlic, butter, onion and white wine
Chasseur Sauce- addition of white wine and mushrooms
Bercy sauce- addition of white wine and shallots
Madeira or Port Sauce- addition of Madeira or Port respectively

Posted by terri at February 1, 2016 02:45 AM