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Espagnole forms the ba­sis of many meat sauces, such as demi-glace or Bour­guignonne sauce – there are end­less de­riv­a­tives. It can be frozen and kept for up to three months.

Prep time about 10 mins

Cook­ing time 1 hour

Makes 500ml

25ml but­ter

1 onion, chopped

1 large car­rot, chopped

1 cel­ery stalk, chopped

30g flour

500ml brown beef stock

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 bou­quet garni (1 bay leaf, 1 tsp thyme leaves, 4 sprigs pars­ley)

Melt the but­ter in a heavy-bot­tomed pan and add the chopped veg­eta­bles. Sauté un­til lightly browned. Grad­u­ally add the flour, stir­ring, un­til it forms a paste. Al­low to cook for about a minute, then slowly add the brown stock, whisk­ing con­stantly. Add the tomato paste and bring to the boil. Re­duce the heat and add the bou­quet garni. Leave to sim­mer for 50 min­utes, or un­til the sauce has re­duced by about a third. Skim the sur­face and strain.

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