Make Brown Sauce
In cooking, brown sauce can refer to quite a few different styles of sauces. The most traditional is Espagnole sauce, which is one of the five French mother sauces. However, brown sauce can also refer to a steak sauce that’s popular in the UK, classic gravy that you put on meat and potatoes, and a Chinese-style stir fry sauce. These sauces all have different flavors and different culinary uses, but they’re all delicious, fun, and simple to make.
Part 1 of 4:French Espagnole Sauce
1. Cook the onion and carrot
Cook the onion and carrot. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and carrot and cook for about eight minutes, stirring regularly, until the vegetables turn golden brown.
Espagnole Sauce is a French mother sauce, meaning it can be used as a base to make a wide variety of other sauces. This particular base sauce is made with broth, roux, and other vegetables and spices for flavor.
2. Make the roux
Make the roux. Add the flour to the onion and carrot mixture. Turn the heat down to medium–low and continue cooking. Stir constantly for about eight minutes, until the roux becomes medium brown.
Roux is flour cooked together with a fat, such as butter or oil. A roux is used to thicken sauces.
3. Whisk in the stock and add the remaining ingredients
Whisk in the stock and add the remaining ingredients. Pour the hot stock into the roux mixture in a quick and steady stream. Whisk the mixture quickly and constantly to prevent lumps from forming. When all the stock has been added, add the remaining ingredients, including the:
4. Reduce the heat and cook
Reduce the heat and cook. Lower the heat so the mixture is just sitting at a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes.
The mixture is ready when it has reduced down to about 3 cups (720 ml).
5. Strain before using
Strain before using. When the mixture has reduced down, strain out the vegetables and spices. Once that’s done, the Espagnole sauce is ready to use.
To store for later use, allow the sauce to cool to room temperature. Transfer it to a lidded container and store it in the refrigerator for one to two days.
Part 2 of 4:English-Style Steak Sauce
1. Soak the prunes
Soak the prunes. Place the prunes into a medium heat-proof bowl. Cover them with hot water, plus an extra inch (2.5) of head room, and let them soak for about an hour.
In the UK, brown sauce is a condiment that’s used as a topping on chips, burgers, steaks, breakfasts, and other dishes. It’s rich, tangy, spicy, and sweet, because steak sauces use dried fruit (such as dates or prunes), ketchup, and vinegar as the base.
2. Heat all the ingredients
Heat all the ingredients. Drain the prunes and place them into a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add in all the other ingredients, and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Cook for between 30 and 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The sauce is ready when it has the thickness of ketchup.
To make this brown sauce suitable for vegetarians, omit the anchovies and substitute soy sauce for the Worcestershire sauce.
3. Blend and cool before using
Blend and cool before using. When the sauce is ready, transfer it to a food processor or blender, or use an immersion blender to puree the ingredients into a smooth and thick sauce.
Allow to cool to room temperature before using. To store, transfer the leftovers to a glass jar with an air-tight container and store it in the fridge.
This sauce will last about one month in the fridge.
Part 3 of 4:Beef and Mushroom Gravy
1. Cook the onions and mushrooms
Cook the onions and mushrooms. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, and then add the onions and mushrooms. Cook the mixture for five to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions and mushrooms become tender.
Gravy is a thick meat- or vegetable-based sauce that’s used as a topping on meat, potatoes, French fries, and other dishes. It’s often made with the juices of freshly cooked meat, but it can also be made with vegetable bases like mushrooms.
2. Add the broth and heat
Add the broth and heat. When the mushrooms and onions are tender, add the stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for five minutes. Stir once or twice in that time.
To make this gravy suitable for vegetarians or vegans, substitute a vegetable-based broth for the beef broth, and replace the butter with vegan margarine.
3. Thicken the gravy with water and cornstarch
Thicken the gravy with water and cornstarch. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. When they are fully combined, pour the mixture into the broth, whisking constantly to prevent lumps.
Allow the mixture to return to a simmer. As the cornstarch heats up, it will thicken the gravy. Simmer for one to two minutes, then serve hot.
Part 4 of 4:Chinese-Style Stir Fry Sauce
1. Whisk together all the ingredients
Whisk together all the ingredients. Add all the ingredients to a medium bowl. Whisk everything vigorously until you have a runny sauce that’s smooth and glossy.
You can use sherry as a substitute for the Chinese cooking wine.
To make the recipe suitable for vegetarians, substitute hoisin or mushroom sauce for the oyster sauce.
2. Transfer to a glass jar
Transfer to a glass jar. To store the sauce for later, transfer it to a glass jar with an air-tight lid. Make sure there’s enough head room in the jar that you can give the sauce a good shake. Store the sauce in the fridge.
Be sure to shake the sauce vigorously before each use.
3. Add the sauce to stir fries
Add the sauce to stir fries. To use the sauce, cook your meat, vegetable, or noodle stir fry. Mince a clove of garlic, half an inch (1.3 cm) of fresh ginger, and a hot chili. Place them in a small bowl, and whisk in the stir fry sauce. Just before serving the stir fry, add the sauce and toss to coat. Cook the stir fry for an additional minute, giving the sauce time to thicken.
Use about 3 tablespoons (45 ml) of sauce per two-person stir fry.