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Espagnole (or brown sauce) is one of the
mother sauces that are the basis of sauce-making in classic French
cooking. In the late 19th century, Auguste Escoffier codified
the recipe, which is still followed today.
Basic Espagnole Sauce
with Variations (Brown Sauce)
1/2 bay leaf
2 parsley stems (no leaves)
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 clove garlic
1 piece of cheesecloth, cut into a 6-inch square
1 piece of butcher's twine, cut 12 inches long
- 1 small onion, peeled
1 carrot, peeled
1 stalk celery
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons additional butter
6 cups beef stock or bouillon, room temperature
2 ounces tomato puree
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
- To make sachet, place the bay leaf, parsley
stems, thyme and garlic in the square of cheesecloth. Gather
up the corners and twist together. Using just one end of the
string, tie the sachet closed. The other end of the string (the
long end) will be suspended from the handle of the saucepan.
- Cut the onion, carrot and celery into
medium (1/2-inch) dice. Set aside. Mince garlic.
- Heat the 1/2 cup butter in small saucepan
until hot. Whisk in the flour (to a paste consistency) and cook
over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 5 to 6 minutes until
mixture (roux) bubbles, turns light brown in color and has a
nutty aroma. This is called a dark roux. Set aside.
- Place the remaining 2 tablespoons butter
in heavy, 4-quart stockpot over medium heat.
- Add the onion, carrot and celery. Saute
the vegetables, stirring often, for about 5 to 6 minutes or until
well browned. Add minced garlic and saute another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the cooked roux to the vegetables,
stirring to combine.
- Gradually, pour in the brown stock and
then the tomato puree.
- Tie the pre-made sachet to one handle
of the stockpot, letting it dangle in the liquid.
- Bring to a boil, skimming off any impurities
from the surface, as needed.
- Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for
about 2 hours, skimming the surface occasionally, until the sauce
is reduced to about 1 quart.
- Untie sachet. Then pour sauce (and sachet)
into a fine strainer or china cap lined with cheesecloth. Use
a ladle or spoon to gently press any remaining vegetables through
the strainer. Discard the sachet.
- Season to taste with salt and white pepper,
- Set over a double boiler filled with warm
water until ready to serve. Or cool completely, then cover and
store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to
I week. Sauce may also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Makes about 1 quart.
A '"brown stock" is simply a stock made with roasted
bones, rather than bones that have only been rinsed and/or blanched
prior to use. To make a brown stock, you can use roasted beef
or veal bones or roasted chicken bones. In this recipe, we are
calling for a brown stock made with roasted beef bones (see Basic
Beef Stock). Place 4 cups Brown Stock and 4 cups Brown Sauce/Sauce
Espagnole in a heavy, I-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over
medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered,
for 15 to 20 minutes or until the sauce is reduced by one-half.
Remove from heat. Pour sauce through a fine strainer or china
cap lined with cheesecloth. Allow to cool completely. Then cover
and store n the refrigerator in an airtight container for up
to 1 week. Sauce may also be frozen for up to 3 months. Makes
Place 1 cup red wine, 2 minced shallots, 1/4 teaspoon crushed
black Peppercorns pinch of thyme and 1/2 bay leaf in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium heat. Cook for about
33 minutes or until reduced by three-fourths. Add 1 quart Demi-glace
(see above) and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat
and strain through a line strainer (or cheesecloth). Cut 2 tablespoons
butter into small pieces and drop them, one at a time, into the
sauce while stirring constantly to combine. Serve immediately.
Makes about 4 cups.
Place 1 quart Demi-glace (see above) in a heavy saucepan over
medium heat. Cook for 30 to 45 minutes until reduced to 1/2 cup.
Add 1/4 cup Madeira Wine, stirring to combine. Serve immediately.
Makes about 4 cups.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy saute pan over moderate heat.
Add 1 minced shallot and saute for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent.
Add 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms and continue sauteing until brown.
Add 1 quart Demi-glace (see above) and simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add 1 tablespoon dry sherry and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Serve
immediately. Makes about 4 cups.