Espangnole (Brown Sauce)

Basic brown sauce

Espagnole (pronounced like the word for Spanish: "español") is a basic brown sauce that is one of the five mother sauces of classical cuisine. It's also the starting point for the demi-glace, a rich and deeply flavorful sauce that is traditionally served with red meats.Before you tackle the espagnole, you might want to review some of the basics of stock making:

Shortcut Recipe for Demi-Glace


  • ½ cup onions, diced
  • ¼ cup carrots, diced
  • ¼ cup celery, diced
  • 1 oz clarified butter
  • 1 oz all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups brown stock
  • 2 Tbsp tomato purée
  • -------- For Sachet: --------
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 3-4 fresh parsley stems
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  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minutes

  • Total Time: 16 minutes

Demi-glace: 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 1 quart

Bordelaise Sauce: 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.

Madeira Sauce: 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.

Mushroom Sauce: Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy sauté pan over moderate heat. Add 1 minced shallot and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes until translucent. Add 1/2 pound sliced mushrooms and continue sautéing 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.