Celery (we use ½ celeriac)
½dl tomato puré
2 twigs of thyme
4 bay leaves
1,5l stock (beef or veal)
This is commonly referred to as the brown of the five mother sauces.
Start by cutting the vegetables, onions, carrots and celeriac into pieces and put them in a large bottomed saucepan, with a bit of olive oil, to make our mirepoix. Let it cook for a couple of minutes and then add the puré, then give it a few more minutes until it almost starts to caramelize.
In a separate pan, melt half the butter and add the flour to make the roux. For this sauce we want a dark roux, so give it a bit of extra heat to get that nutty flavor, but don't burn it! Now add a third of the stock and start whisking to until there are no lumps left, then add the rest a third at a time while whisking. Add the mirepoix, thyme and bay leaves and let it simmer without lid for about 35 minutes and until the volume has been reduced to half. Stir it frequently to avoid scorching in the bottom.
Pour the sauce through fine sieve to remove solids and through a piece of cloth.
And there it is, the Espagnole.