Anne Willan’s latest book is Secrets from the La Varenne Kitchen, 50 Essential Recipes Every Cook Needs to Know. It is our latest cookbook club pick for KCRW’s Cookbook Club, and Anne stops by Good Food this weekend to discuss some of the lost classics in the book. She says that brown sauces, like the Espagnole Sauce below, are bound to make a comeback. It’s an excellent finish to a perfectly cooked piece of beef.
Makes about 3 cups sauce.
4 tablespoons oil
3 ounce piece of smoked bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
5 tablespoons flour
4 cups brown veal stock
1 bouquet garni
1 tomato, quartered
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt and pepper
In a heavy based pan, heat the oil. Add the bacon, onion, and carrot and sauté until
lightly browned. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the
mixture is a rich brown. Take from the heat and let cool. Heat three cups of the
brown stock and, when hot, whisk into the cooled roux. Add the bouquet garni,
tomato, and tomato paste and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Let it
simmer very gently, uncovered for 3 hours or until thoroughly reduced and well
flavored. It should be quite red, with a strong flavor of tomato and an almost syrupy
consistency. To clarify the sauce: Once or twice during cooking add half a cup of
stock, bring the sauce back to a boil, and skim off any scum. Strain the sauce through
a chinois strainer and taste it for seasoning. Use as a base for other brown sauces.