May 28, 2023

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Espagnole Sauce (Demi Glace Recipe)

Espagnole Sauce (Demi Glace Recipe)

Espagnole Sauce – Learn the easy steps to make this iconic sauce, with additional beef Demi Glace recipe. Both are great to enjoy as a flavorful gravy on proteins, potatoes, and more!

First recipe shot with two glass measuring cups: one with Espagnole and the other with Demi Glace.

What Is Espagnole Sauce? (And What Do You Do With It?)

Espagnole is a classic brown sauce that originated in Spain. It is considered one of the five “mother sauces” in French cuisine that is used to make endless varieties of saucy creations.

Espagnole Sauce is made with a blend of hearty vegetables, beef or veal stock, and tomato purée. It is cooked down into a thin sauce, or slightly thicker gravy consistency.

You can serve it over all sorts of fabulous beef and pork dishes as-is, or you can use this Mother Sauce to create other popular sauces such as Sauce Chasseur (Hunter Sauce) and Demi Glace. Here we show you easy steps to make both sauces!

Top down view two ramekin with different sauces, two plates with steak and different sauces on top.

What is Demi Glace? (And How Is It Different From Espagnole Sauce?)

Demi Glace is a darker, richer brown sauce. It is made with Espagnole Sauce mixed with more beef/veal stock, and either red wine or sherry. It is cooked down again to create a dark color and stronger beefy flavor.

The big differences between the two sauces are the color variation and taste: The Espagnole sauce has more of a vegetable-forward flavor, whereas Demi Glace has a beefier flavor. Both are excellent gourmet toppings to serve with holiday beef and pork dishes, over roasted vegetables, or with mashed potatoes as “fancy gravy”.

Glass measuring pitcher filled with Espagnole sauce, spoonfull shown to camera.

Ingredients Checklist

For the Espagnole Sauce

  • Butter – unsalted
  • Carrots – roughly chopped
  • Onion – peeled and roughly chopped
  • Celery – roughly chopped
  • Garlic – cloves, roughly chopped
  • All-purpose flour – can be gluten-free
  • Beef stock – or bullion with water
  • Bay leaves – for a delightfully earthy flavor
  • Whole black peppercorns – no need to crack the pepper
  • Tomato puree – or crushed tomatoes
  • Salt – a pinch to bring the flavors together

To Make the Demi Glace

  • Espagnole sauce – freshly made or refrigerated
  • Beef stock – or bullion with water
  • Red wine – or sherry
  • Fresh thyme leaves – to give the sauce a fresh herbaceous taste
  • Salt and pepper – just a bit to finish the gravy
Diced carrots, onion, celery, and garlic on a cutting board.

How to Make Espagnole Sauce

Set a large 6 to 8-quart sauce pot over medium heat. Add the butter, chopped carrots, onions, celery, and garlic to the pot. Stir and sauté for 10 minutes to soften the vegetables.

Then sprinkle the flour into the pot. Continue to stir and sauté the vegetables, creating a roux, until the roux is golden and smells toasty, about five more minutes. At this point, the vegetables should be very soft.

Large cooking pot with chopped veggies and bay leaves.

Pour in the beef stock, followed by the bay leaves, whole black peppercorns, tomato purée, and salt. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pot.

Pouring beef broth from a container into the pot.

Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat if needed and continue to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until the mixture has reduced to one-third of its original volume.

Note: You can leave the Espagnole Sauce thinner, or cook it down to a gravy consistency. This is just a matter of personal preference or planned usage.

Veggie and broth combination cooking in a large pan.

Set a mesh strainer over a large bowl. Ladle the sauce base into the strainer to remove all vegetable chunks and spices.

Get the Complete (Printable) Espagnole Sauce and Demi Glace Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Straining the veggies in a metal sieve over glass measuring cup.

The sauce should be smooth and fine. Taste, then salt as needed.

Top down view Espagnole sauce in glass container, spoonful shown to camera.

While the veggies cook it is a great time to make your protein. Grill, sear, or bake your choice of chicken, steak, or pork chop main dishes.

Grilled steak on a plate with asparagus and mashed potatoes.

Once the Espagnole is finished, spoon it warm onto steak (or other protein). Or let it cool and store it in the fridge to enjoy later.

Spoon drizzling sauce over the steak on the plate with veggie sides.

How to Make Beef Demi Glace

  1. Set a clean pot over medium heat. Add 2 cups of Espagnole sauce to the pot, followed by one cup of beef broth, one cup of wine or dry sherry, and a teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves. 
  2. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat a little and continue to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the mixture has reduced by half. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the Demi Glace sauce through the strainer to remove any debris, so that the gravy is very smooth.

Spoon the demi-glace warm over cooked main dishes or serve as gravy on the side.

Spoon with dark Demi Glace recipe in glass measuring jar, shown to camera.

Can I Make Hunter Sauce (Sauce Chasseur) with Espagnole or Demi Glace?

Sure you Can! Here’s what you will need:

  • 4 cups Espagnole or Demi Glace
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound sliced mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons butter

If you want to make Hunter Sauce, simply sauté sliced mushrooms in butter, about 5 minutes. Then pour in dry white wine, Espagnole Sauce, and tomato paste. Simmer to reduce and thicken for 15 minutes.

Pro Tip: Sauce Chasseur made with Espagnole will be lighter in color with a stronger vegetable flavor. Chasseur made with Demi Glace will be darker and beefier.

Hunter Sauce is often served with roasted chicken or over egg noodles.

Steak on a plate with dark brown sauce demi glace from recipe on top.

Serving Suggestions

In addition to being fantastic on steaks and chops, both Espagnole sauce and demi-glace are delicious with your favorite side dishes.

Pair the protein and gravy with mashed potatoes and hearty veggies for a complete meal. We love to bring some green goodness to the table and serve with simple vegetable sides, like:

Top down view two plates, each with steak asparagus and mashed potatoes. One steak has Espagnole sauce and the other has dark brown Demi Glace.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make vegan Espagnole Sauce?

Swap beef broth for a dark vegetable broth or bullion to easily make this a plant-based recipe. Also, use veggie broth for a vegan Demi Glace recipe.

How many servings does this recipe yield?

This recipe makes 4 cups of Espagnole Sauce and about 1 1/2 cups of Demi Glace. That way, you have some Espagnole Sauce left and some Demi Glace to use for different purposes. However, you can use all 4 cups of Espagnole Sauce to make 3 cups of Demi Glace if desired, by doubling the Demi Glace recipe.

How long does it keep well in the fridge?

Both sauces will keep well in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Can you freeze Espagnole Sauce and Demi Glace?

Yes, I recommend freezing if you want to enjoy it longer than a week. Let the sauces cool completely before transferring them to an airtight container. Wrap the container in a layer of aluminum foil for extra protection, and store it in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Final view Espagnole Demi Glace recipe, close shot of steak covered with lighter sauce.

Looking for More Fabulous Gravy and Sauce Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:

Espagnole Sauce (Demi Glace Recipe)

Learn the easy steps to make an iconic Espagnole sauce, with additional beef Demi-Glace recipe. Both are great to enjoy as a flavorful gravy on proteins, potatoes, and more!

Servings: 16 servings (4 cups)

  • Set a large 6 to 8 quart sauce pot over medium heat. Add the butter, chopped carrots, onions, celery, and garlic to the pot. Stir and sauté for 10 minutes to soften the vegetables. Then sprinkle the flour into the pot. Continue to stir and sauté the vegetables, creating a roux, until the roux is golden and smells toasty, about five more minutes. At this point the vegetables should be very soft.

  • Pour in the beef stock, followed by the bay leaves, whole black peppercorns, tomato purée, and salt. Stir well, scraping the bottom of the pot.

  • Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat if needed and continue to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, until the mixture has reduced to 1/3 of its original size. (You can leave the Espagnole sauce thinner, or cook it down to a gravy consistency. This is just a matter of personal preference or planned usage.)

  • Set a mesh strainer over a large bowl. Ladle the sauce base into the strainer to remove all vegetable chunks and spices. The sauce should be smooth and fine. Taste, then salt as needed.

  • To Make Demi Glace: Set a clean pot over medium heat. Add 2 cups of Espagnole Sauce to the pot, followed by one cup of beef broth, one cup of wine or dry sherry, and a teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves.

  • Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat a little and continue to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until the mixture has reduced by half. Taste, then salt and pepper as needed.

  • Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the demi-glace through the strainer to remove any debris, so that the demi-glace is very smooth.

This recipe makes 4 cups of Espagnole Sauce and about 1 1/2 cups of Demi Glace. That way, you have some Espagnole Sauce left and some Demi Glace to use for different purposes. However, you can use all 4 cups of Espagnole Sauce to make 3 cups of Demi Glace if desired, by doubling the Demi Glace recipe.
Store the sauces in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To freeze: Let the sauces cool completely before transferring to an airtight container. Wrap the container in a layer of aluminum foil for extra protection, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Serving: 0.25cup, Calories: 156kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 661mg, Potassium: 409mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 3137IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 1mg

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