Espagnole sauce

Espagnole sauce

By Food E Fare

Espagnole sauce, also known as brown sauce, is one of the five mother sauces in classical French cuisine, as classified by Auguste Escoffier. It is a rich and flavorful brown sauce made from a brown stock (beef or veal), tomatoes, brown roux (butter and flour), mirepoix (a mixture of onions, carrots, and celery), and various herbs and spices. Here's a basic recipe for Espagnole sauce:


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups brown stock (beef or veal)
  • 1/2 cup tomato puree or tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup mirepoix (finely diced onions, carrots, and celery)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the Brown Roux:

  • In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk continuously to form a brown roux. Cook the roux until it reaches a rich brown color.

Add Mirepoix:

  • Add the finely diced mirepoix (onions, carrots, and celery) to the brown roux. Cook the vegetables until they are softened.

Incorporate Stock and Tomatoes:

  • Gradually add the brown stock to the roux and mirepoix mixture, whisking continuously to avoid lumps. Add the tomato puree or tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme.

Simmer and Reduce:

  • Allow the sauce to simmer over low heat for about 30-45 minutes, allowing it to reduce and develop rich flavors. Stir occasionally.

Strain (Optional):

  • Optionally, strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove solids and achieve a smoother consistency.


  • Season the Espagnole sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed.

Use as Desired:

  • Espagnole sauce can be used as a base for other sauces, such as demi-glace, or it can be incorporated into various dishes, particularly those featuring beef or hearty stews.


Espagnole sauce is characterized by its deep brown color, robust flavor, and versatility as a foundation for creating more complex sauces. It is a fundamental element in classic French cuisine and is employed in a variety of dishes to enhance their taste and richness.

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