Sauce Espanol is arguably the most important of the French ‘mother’ sauces. So while the world was baking bread, I was making Sauce Espagnol. No doubt bread baking to some was as incredibly satisfying as was making this sauce for me. It’s not difficult at all and you can almost see the flavors developing. It has an amazing aroma while it is gently simmering in your kitchen for 3-4 hours.
Most Sauce Espanol recipes call for a deeply colored roux as a base and 4-5 cups of brown stock, but I like to make my version with just a mirepoix (carrots, onions and celery) herbs, butter and maybe 3-4 cups of a combination of beef consomme and good quality beef broth.
I almost literally burn the vegetables. Actually, I sear the vegetables in a tablespoon or so of butter until the bottom of the pan is almost black and the vegetables are a deep brown.
I then add a can of consomme and scrape up all the bits until the bottom of the pan is almost clear and shiny again, then I add one liter of good quality beef stock, bring it all to a boil, then reduce and gently simmer for 3-4 hours over low heat.
The aroma from the cooking of the sauce fills the kitchen and it is oh so good! Simmering for such a long time allows the flavors to develop and also allows time to fully cook the vegetables. After the cooking time, the stock should be reduced by half.
Just remove from the heat, allow it to cool to room temperature and rough chop in a blender, then put through a fine sieve and the result should be a rich velvety brown sauce that is not too thin like a soup, or thick like a gravy.
The ingredients and the quantities for this Sauce Espanol recipe will yield approximately 3 cups of sauce. I usually ladle the sauce in half cup freezer containers as this is generally the volume needed for most compound sauces.
Did you ever wonder how those delectable sauces served with roast game and grilled meats get created? Sauce Chasseur, Madiera Sauce, Creole Sauce, just to name a few. It is a geat addition to just about any brown colored sauce, whether flavored with fortified wines such as port or madiera, or poached fruits and berries such as fresh figs and red currants. Sauce Espanol elevates the finished sauce to a whole different level. I will include recipes with this all important mother sauce as they are transcribed from my handwritten notes as time goes by.
In the meantime, a nice break from baking bread,