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Brown Sauce Recipe

The general term for French 'meat-flavoured' sauces generally based on Espagnole or Demi-Glace.
They include the likes of Bordelaise, Bigarade and Poivade.
Depending on how much time you have, you can follow this 'full-blown' version or use our 'Cheats' version.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at - top-class dishes from beginners upwards


For about 1.7 litre/3 pints:

1 kilo/2 lbs Beef or Veal thigh Marrow Bones, sawn-up into pieces by your butcher - or a mixture of these and Chicken bones
1 medium Onion, unpeeled and cut in half, then each half stuck with a whole Clove
1 medium Carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks of Celery, washed (alternately the leaves from about half a bunch of Celery)
1 medium Leek, split from the dark green end, and carefully washed
4 cloves of Garlic, peeled, but left intact
1 Bay Leaf
a few Parsley Stalks


1. Heat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas 8.

2. Put the bones and the onion halves, cut side down, into a roasting tray and roast for 30 minutes. This will give your stock a good colour.

3. Transfer the contents of the roasting tray to a big saucepan or stewpot and add all the other ingredients.

4. Cover with cold water, then bring to the boil, skimming off any scum as it comes to the surface.

5. Add a little of this liquid to the roasting tray and scrape any brown residue from the bottom - add this to the main stockpot.

6. When a boil is reached, lower the heat to maintain a bare simmer and cook for about 3 hours, skimming occasionally and topping-up with a little ore water if necessary.

7. Strain the mixture, discarding the solids, and allowing the liquid to cool.

8. As it cools, the fat will rise to the top and can easily be removed.

Chill or freeze when cold.

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