Sauce Espagnole, Demi Glace

Yield 2-1/2 qts
Preparation Time: 2:00

  1. Melt the fat in a heavy sauce pan of 6 qt capacity. (I use a 4109 Wearever Saucepan. It hardly pays to make less than this amount.) Lightly flour and brown the slices of shin meat on both sides and remove them to a plate.
  2. Add all the chopped vegetables and bacon rind, sauté vigorously, and when they take some color, add the flour, and stir slowly while the flour browns. This requires close attention. Use a wooden spoon to do this, and keep the bottom of the pot free of any burning.
  3. When the flour has browned lightly, add the wine, aromatics and stock. If you are using the beef shin add it back now, with any juices it may have given on the plate.You will be adding cold liquid to a hot roux, so take care that the steam initially generated does not burn you. Stir vigorously. Hot roux requires cold liquid so that it can dissolve and not lump. Bring the pot to the boil and then cut back to the simmer. Add the dried mushrooms now, if you want to use them.
  4. Simmer this for about an hour, skimming any fat and scum that rises to the top. When the shin meat is tender, remove it and enjoy it as a meal at another time. Strain the liquid off into another container. You will probably have about a gallon. Mash the solids against the side of the strainer to get as much gravy out of them as you can. Discard the solids. Or don't mash them, and put them and the mushrooms with the shin meat, for a meal.
  5. Return the brown sauce to the pot, and reduce it by half. If the color is not rich, add a little tomato purée. For a richer brown color, I use mushroom soy sauce. Season it. If it is too thin, bind it with some cornstarch mixed with sherry, to bring it to a suitable consistency, but avoid getting it too thick. If it coats a spoon nicely, that is enough. Add the remainder of the sherry to the sauce, and strain it again into clean containers that have been rinsed with boiling water. Cover with Saran wrap, and cool. Refrigerate. If any fat rises to the top of the sauce, leave it until you are ready to use it, as it protects the sauce from airborne spores.

Notes: This is the basic brown sauce, and extra stock has been added, so that it is made as Espagnole and finishes as Demi-Glace. Optional ingredients are just for flavor, and to get an extra meal out of the work. After all, the chef deserves a nice lunch.

Yield: 2 to 2-1/2 qts. Of demi-glace. If you want to freeze it, omit the cornstarch and wine slurry, and bind it after you thaw the frozen product, as it will hold up better that way.

Steve's #21 Recipes

The Five Grande Sauces

Sauce Espagnole
Sauce Diable for Grilled Pork
Beef Sweetbreads in Mushroom Sauce
Chicken Stew Chasseur*
Braised Brisket of Beef
Fillet de Beouf aux Morilles
Autumn Roast Duck
Brown Stock—Estouffade*
Court Bouillon*

*Repeated from a previous article


©1996, Steve K. Holzinger. All rights reserved.

This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007