Sauce Espagnole

The sauce espagnole is the corner stone of all brown sauces. This sauce is based on a brown veal stock thickened with molecules: a brown roux. This sauce is used as a base for numerous sauce such as the sauce Robert, genevoise sauce, bordelaise sauce, etc. It is also used as cooking liquid for numerous braised meat dishes and stews.
The cooking procedure for the sauce espagnole's has been set by Antonin Careme and still is in use nowadays.
Here I will give Careme's recipe and a modern version of this sauce that nowadays, make more sens economicaly speaking.
Careme's recipe goes like this:
  • 300g of cured ham, in the form of two slices, 9mm thick.
  • 2 partridges.
  • 1kg of veal cushon.
  • 2 litres + 2 litres of veal bouillon.
  • 200 carotts.
  • 200g onions.
  • 6 cloves of garlic.
  • 20g celery.
  • 200g of mushroom trimmings.
  • 1kg fresh tomatoes.
  • 125g butter.
  • 125g flour.
  • 2 cloves.

In a large pot, place the two slices of cured ham at the bottom, put the two partridges and the veal cushon on the top of them and pour in 2 litres of veal bouillon. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and allow the bouillon to reduce to a glaze. Skim, from time to time. At this point, prick the partridges and veal cushon to allow the meat juices to join the glaze.

Pour the rest of the bouillon onto the glaze and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer. Skim from time to time.

Meanwhile, in a separate pot, sweat off the vegetable cut into a mirepoix and set aside. In the pot, make a brown roux with the butter and the flour. Dilute it with a couple of spoons (large ones) of bouillon. Pour the diluted roux into the bouillon along with the mirepoix, mushroom trimmings, tomatoes, cloves and bouquet garni.

Let the sauce simmer for 1h30 in the corner of the sauce. Make sur to skim regularly.

Strain the sauce and set aside until needed.


Modern sauce espagnole recipe:

  • 2.25 litre brown veal stock.
  • 1/2 litre white wine.
  • 50g carotts.
  • 50g onions.
  • 20g celery.
  • 20g green of leek.
  • 100g mushroom trimmings.
  • 1 bouquet garni.
  • 30g butter.
  • 30g flour.
  • 1kg fresh tomatoes.

In a large pot, sweat off the vegetables cut into a mirepoix, then set aside. In the same pot make a brown roux with the butter and the flour.

Dilute this roux with the veal stock. Add the mirepoix, tomatoes, mushroom trimmings, bouquet garni and the wine. Bring to the boil and allow to cook gently for 3 to 4 hours. Skim from time to time.

Strain using a fine chinois.

“To preside over a political chamber or to hold a post in an embassy, is to take a course in gastronomy.”

Antonin Careme (1783-1833)

Suitable for pregnant women and diabetics. Contains gluten and dairies. Nut free.