How To Make Sauce Espagnole

One of Escoffier’s five “holy grail” mother sauces, Sauce Espagnole or Spanish Sauce, has actually very little to do with Spain or Spanish cuisine. The story goes that when the Spanish cooks of Louis XIII’s bride, Anne, were preparing their wedding feast, the cooks weren’t impressed with the flavor of the standard French sauce. To add flavor and richness, they through in some Spanish tomatoes and the immediate hit was named in the country’s honor out of respect. Escoffier knew how important this sauce was to French cuisine so there was no doubt it would make an appearance in Le Guide Cuilinaire, his groundbreaking cookbook. For hundreds of years Sauce Espagnole continues to remain one of the most important additions to cuisine, French or otherwise, and is a staple base for many other sauces like Sauce aux Champignons (Mushroom Sauce), Sauce Charcuterie and Julia Child’s favorite, Sauce Bourguinonne. Because of its strong flavors, it’s rarely used directly on food and rather diluted with stock to make a simple demi-glace base. Whatever you use it for, this is an absolute necessity recipe for any serious cook. In this online cooking class, we teach you how to make one of Escoffier’s prized posessions, Sauce Espagnole. Take the recipe, use our skimming techniques and cooking techniques, and it’ll be sure to come out perfectly every time. It also freezes incredibly well so you can use it for months to come!

Sauce Espagnole

2 lb mirepoix
8 oz clarified butter
8 oz flour
5 qt brown stock
8 oz tomato puree
1 bay leaf
½ tsp thyme
¼ tsp peppercorns
8 parsley stems

  1. Saute mirepoix in butter until well carmelized.
  2. Add flour and cook to make a brown roux.
  3. Add the stock and tomato puree. Stir to break up any lumps of roux. Bring to a boil and then immediately reduce to a simmer.
  4. Add the satchet. Simmer for about 1.5 hours to reduce. Skim the surface periodically.
  5. Strain through a china cap with cheesecloth. Season to taste.

Subscribe to our blog and stay up to date with industry news and the newest cooking trends!

Recommended Posts