Video // Mother Sauce Series: Introducing Espagnole

Posted On: August 15, 2014

So far in our Mother Sauce  series we’ve covered BéchamelVelouté and it’s derivatives Mushroom, Hungarian, and Aurora sauce. Next up on our tour is the classic and versatile Espagnole Sauce.

Espagnole Sauce is a slightly more complex mother sauce.  Espagnole is made by thickening brown stock with roux (similar to making a velouté). The difference is that espagnole is made with tomato purée and mirepoix for richer color and flavor. Also, brown stock itself is made from bones that have first been roasted to add color and flavor.

Espagnole is traditionally further refined to produce a rich, deeply flavorful sauce called a demi-glace. This demi-glace is the starting point for making various derivative sauces. A demi-glace consists of a mixture of half espagnole, half brown stock, which is then reduced by half. Make sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the upcoming derivative recipe videos! 

For a short-cut, you could skip the demi-glace step and make the derivative sauces directly from the espagnole. You’ll lose some flavor and body, but you’ll save time.



  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • 2 oz clarified butter
  • 2 oz all-purpose flour (paleo & GF substitute tapioca flour)
  • 6 cups brown stock
  • ¼ cup tomato purée


Bouquet Garni packet (detailed instructions here)

  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 3-4 fresh parsley stems
  •  a dried leek


In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it bubbles.

Add the mirepoix and sauté for a few minutes until it’s lightly browned.  Stir the flour into the mirepoix a little bit at a time, until it is fully incorporated and forms a thick paste (roux). Lower the heat and cook the roux for another few minutes, until it’s light brown.

Using a wire whisk, slowly add the stock and tomato purée to the roux, whisking vigorously to make sure it’s free of lumps.

Bring to a boil, lower heat, add the sachet and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the total volume has reduced by about one-third, stirring frequently. Use a ladle to skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.

Remove the sauce from the heat and retrieve the sachet. For a smooth consistency, carefully pour the sauce through a wire mesh strainer lined with a piece of cheesecloth.

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Bon appétit, ya’ll!

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