It's time to continue our journey in the world of sauces with Espagnole or brown sauce, which is one of the 5 mother sauces of classic French cuisine. These mother sauces are the starting point for making other sauces, this is why it’s essential to know the right method for each.

Making this sauce is quite similar to making a veloutè, they're both stock-based sauces. But for Espagnole, we use brown stock (beef stock) and add a few more ingredients like tomato purée and mirepoix (finely chopped carrots, celery, and onions) and sachet (herbs and spices tied in cheesecloth) or bouquet garni.

ESPAGNOLE = Brown roux + Brown stock + Tomato purée + Mirepoix + Sachet

You can use Espagnole to prepare the well-known Demi-glace which is a popular addition to red meat.


  • 30 g unsalted clarified butter
  • 30 g flour
  • 700 ml brown (beef) stock
  • 5 tbsp onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp celery, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp tomato purée

Sachet or bouqet garni

  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 4-5 parsley stems
  • 5-6 whole peppercorns


  1. Melt the butter.
  2. Add the mirepoix ingredients (onions, carrots, and celery) and sautè them till the pieces are slightly brown.
  3. Add the flour and create a brown roux.
  4. Incorporate the tomato purée and add the stock.
  5. Add the sachet.
  6. Reduce the sauce on low-medium heat.
Espagnole Sauce - Photo by © Reka Csulak

Espagnole Sauce - Photo by © Reka Csulak

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