Posted on Nov 20, 2012 in Basic Sauces, Escoffier, Escoffier Recipes, Sauces | 0 comments


Escoffier recipe for making sauce espagnole maigre, fish espagnole, or lenten espagnole sauce, at home (Escoffier, 17).

Also called Lenten Espagnole, this sauce is made with fish fumét and mushrooms instead of brown stock and meat (usually salt pork or bacon) as in regular Espagnole. Guess you can get away with having this rich sauce during Lent, eh?

I made a quick version of this sauce instead of the two-day Escoffier method. (Ha! Only 6 hours.)

Classic Sauce Espagnole Maigre
fish stock + brown roux + mirepoix + bouquet garni + mushrooms + butter + wine + tomato
Classic Sauce Espagnole
brown stock + brown roux + mirepoix + bouquet garni + salt pork + butter + wine + tomato
Modern Sauce Espagnole
brown stock + brown roux

Mise en place:
Mise en place for Fish Espagnole


Sauce Espagnole Maigre

In a large stockpot, sauté a mirepoix of diced carrots, onion, mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf in the butter until translucent.

Saute the mirepoix

Then add the tomato paste and let brown. Deglaze the pot with the dry white wine and reduce until almost dry.

What kind of dry white wine is best for fish-based sauces?

Ever notice they never say what kind to use? It’s always the very vague ‘dry white wine’ you’ll see in recipes. I’ve found sauvignon blanc, chablis, and Noilly Prat vermouth work well. Each has its own flavor, and will affect your end result. But go for the lighter whites, stay away from the sweet whites like sauternes and reislings, or oaky whites like chardonnay.

Add the fish fumét.

Gently simmer to reduce the stock, skimming off any foam from the surface, for about 5 hours.

Simmer the fish Espagnole stock

Strain and add the brown roux to the reduced stock. Simmer gently for another hour, stirring so it does not stick.

Brown roux can sometimes have a pronounced flavor. Try the sauce, and if it has a floury flavor, simmer some more.

Sauce Espagnole Maigre

Remove from heat, strain, and stir occasionally until the sauce is completely cold.

Lenten Espagnole sauce

65g (1/2 cup) diced carrots
40g (1/4 cup) diced onions
65g (3/4 cup) diced button or brown mushrooms
35g (7 1/2 teaspoons) unsalted butter
33g (2 tablespoons) tomato paste
100g (1/2 cup) dry white wine
1000g (4 cups) fish fumét
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 fresh bay leaf
125g (1 cup) brown roux

Total time: Prep: 15 minutes, Cook: 6-8 hours

Yields: 2-4 quarts of stock, depending on how long you simmer it.

Salter digital scale
Kitchen knife and cutting board
Measuring bowls
Large stockpot
Wooden spoon
Wire whisk
Rubber spatula
Strainer or chinois
Medium Saucepan
Plastic containers