Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sauce Espagnole

There are a number of recipes out there for this classic French sauce: this is mine. It’s pretty simple and easily made, freezes like a dream and makes a great base to add the cooking juices of whatever you’re up to along a couple of slugs of hooch for an all-purpose rich brown saucy gravy type thing. As a consequence, I always have a few takeaway trays of it in the freezer ready to sling into a pan at a moment's notice.

A couple of notes: I’ve recommended 30 minutes’ cooking time, but this is really a minimum. The longer you can give it, the better. And the red onion in this recipe is one of the Indian ones, or a large shallot, not those enormous dark American things that Spinneys flogs.


  • 1 rasher streaky, chopped
  • 25g butter
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 4 button mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 400ml good beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ diced red pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Fry off the onion until it’s soft and transparent, then add the bacon. After a short time, stir in the mushroom and red pepper along with the butter. Fry it all up for a while, then add the flour and stir it in. Keep everything frying for a while, the flour will start to brown. Add the stock and tomato paste and stir it all in: leave on a low heat, stirring occasionally to stop anything sticking too much, for 30 mins or so. Leave the sauce to cool before giving it a thorough whizz and then reheat or freeze as you please!


HnD said...

Alternatively, once you've added the flour cook it out for a while till the roux turns a rich brown colour. Meantime, reduce half a bottle each of red wine and port with half a dozen black peppercorns. Pass the roux through a sieve into another saucepan and, over a low heat, add the reduction (minus the peppercorns)and stir to make the sauce. Finish off by stirring in a couple of small knobs of butter.

Works particularly well with beef wellington.

alexander said...

This would be a very rich and expensive sauce... it sounds very much for gorgeous!