Espagnole (pronounced like the word for Spanish: "español") is a basic brown sauce that is one of the five mother sauces of classical cuisine. It's also the starting point for the demi-glace, a rich and deeply flavorful sauce that is traditionally served with red meats.
- ½ cup onions, diced
- ¼ cup carrots, diced
- ¼ cup celery, diced
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3 cups brown stock
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp dried thyme
- 3-4 fresh parsley stems
- In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it becomes frothy.
- Add the brown stock and sauté for a few minutes until it's lightly browned. Don't let it burn, though.
- With a spoon, stir the flour into the brown stock a little bit at a time, until it is forms a thick paste or roux. Lower the heat and cook the roux for another five minutes or so, until it's light brown. Don't let it burn! The roux will have a slightly nutty aroma at this point.
- Using a wire whisk, slowly add the stock to the roux, whisking vigorously to make sure it's free of lumps.
- Bring to a boil, lower heat, add bay leaf, dried thyme and parsley and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the total volume has reduced by about one-third, stirring frequently to make sure the sauce doesn't scorch at the bottom of the pan. Use a ladle to skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.
- Remove the sauce from the heat. For an extra smooth consistency, carefully pour the sauce through a wire mesh strainer lined with a piece of cheesecloth.
- Serve hot. If not serving the sauce right away, keep it covered and warm until you're ready to use it.