Espagnole sauce

In cooking, espagnole sauce ( IPA-all|ɛɲɔl ) is one of the mother sauces that are the basis of sauce-making in classic French cooking. In the late 19th century, Auguste Escoffier codified the recipe, which is still followed today. Auguste Escoffier (1903), "Le Guide culinaire", Editions Flammarion]

Origin of the name

Even though "espagnole" is the French word for "Spanish", the sauce has little connection with Spanish cuisine. According to Louis Diat, the creator of vichyssoise and the author of the classic "Gourmet's Basic French Cookbook":

"There is a story that explains why the most important basic brown sauce in French cuisine is called "sauce espagnole", or Spanish sauce. According to the story, the Spanish cooks of Louis XIII's bride, Anne, helped to prepare their wedding feast, and insisted upon improving the rich brown sauce of France with Spanish tomatoes. This new sauce was an instant success, and was gratefully named in honor of its creators." [cite book | last = Waters | first = Mrs. W.G. | year = 1920 | title = The Cook's Decameron: A Study In Taste | publisher = | id = ISBN 1-4043-4580-9 ]

However, in "Kettner's Book of the Table" published in 1877, there is an entirely different explanation:

(The name "Kettner" in the title refers to Auguste Kettner, former chef to Napoleon III who immigrated to England and in 1867 opened a restaurant in Soho– [ "Kettner's"] – one of the oldest restaurants in London.)


The basic method of making espagnole is to prepare a very dark brown roux, to which are added several liters of veal stock or water, along with 10–15 kg (20–30 lb) of browned bones, pieces of beef, many pounds of vegetables, and various seasonings. This blend is allowed to slowly reduce while being frequently skimmed. The classical recipe calls for additional veal stock to be added as the liquid gradually reduces but today water is generally used instead. Tomato sauce is added towards the end of the process, and the sauce is further reduced.


Espagnole has a strong taste and is rarely used directly on food. As a "mother sauce", however, it serves as the starting point for many "derivative sauces", such as Sauce Africaine, Sauce Bigarade, Sauce Bourguignonne, Sauce aux Champignons, Sauce Charcutière, Sauce Chasseur, Sauce Chevreuil and Demi-glace. There are hundreds of other derivatives in the classical French repertoire.

A typical espagnole recipe takes many hours or even several days to make, and produces four to five quarts of sauce. In most derivative recipes, however, one cup of espagnole is more than enough, so that the basic recipe will yield enough sauce for 16 to 20 meals. Frozen in small quantities, espagnole will keep practically indefinitely.

Escoffier included a recipe for a Lenten espagnole sauce, using fish stock and mushrooms, in the Le Guide culinaire but doubted its necessity.

ee also

*Brown sauce (meat stock based)


External links

* [ "The Cook's Decameron" from Project Gutenberg]
* [,,FOOD_9936_10351,00.html Emeril Lagasse's recipe at]

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