Brown Sauce or Espagnole

Escoffier Recipe 23
Escoffier – Brown Sauce or Espagnole

This glaze is used less often than the preceding ones. As it is only used to intensify the savour of sauces, it is sufficient for this purpose to prepare a white fish stock (Formula 11), which may be diluted with the stock already prepared, and which may be reduced according to the requirements. The name of fish fumet or fish essence is given to this preparation; its flavour is more delicate than that of fish glaze, which it replaces with advantage


Quantities Required for Four Quarts.—One lb. of brown roux dissolved in a tall, thick saucepan with six quarts of brown stock or estouffade. Put the saucepan on an open fire, and stir the sauce with a spatula or a whisk, and do not leave it until it ‘ begins to boil. Then remove the spatula, and put the sauce­pan on a corner of the fire, letting it lean slightly to one side with the help of a wedge, so that boiling may only take place at one point, and that the inert principles thrown out by the sauce during despumation may accumulate high up in the sauce­pan, whence they can be easily removed as they collect.

It is advisable during despumation to change saucepans twice or even three times, straining every time, and adding a quart of brown stock to replace what has evaporated. At length, when the sauce begins to get lighter, and about two hours” before finally straining it, two lbs. of fresh tomatoes, roughly cut up, should be added, or an equivalent quantity of tomato pure”e, and about one lb. of Mirepoix, prepared accord­ing to Formula No. 228. The sauce is then reduced so as to measure four quarts when strained, after which it is poured into a wide tureen, and must be kept in motion until quite cool lest a skin should form on its surface.

The time required for the despumation of an Espagnole varies according to the quality of the stock and roux. We saw above that one hour sufficed for a concentrated stock and starch roux, in which case the Mirepoix and the tomato are inserted from the first. But much more time is required if one is deal­ing with a roux whose base is flour. In the latter case six hours


should be allowed, provided one have excellent stock and well-made roux. More often than not this work is done in two stages, thus: after having despumated the Espagnole for six or eight hours the first day, it is put on the fire the next day with half its volume of stock, and it is left to despumate a few hours more before it is finally strained.

Summing up my opinion on this subject, I can only give my colleagues the following advice, based upon long experi-

1. Only use strong, clear stock with a decided taste.2. Be scrupulously careful of the roux, however it may be
made. By following these two rules, a. clear, brilliant, and
consistent Espagnole will always be obtained in a fairly short

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