Brown Sauce Recipe

There are several different French sauces that begin with the simple brown sauce recipe given here. Brown sauce or sauce brune is also known as Spanish sauce (sauce espagnole). It is made from roux (flour and butter mixture) which you brown for a few minutes before adding the bouillon.

brown sauce recipe

Create Your Own Brown Sauce

You can try cooking various finely chopped vegetables (carrots, mushrooms, celery, shallots, etc.) in the melted butter before adding the flour to get different effects. Sometimes bacon is also used in a brown sauce.

When vegetables are added at the start, the French often strain the sauce at the end to get a homogenous fluid. You might find this step unnecessary. I do! This brown sauce and its variations are typically served with meat, but some go well with poultry and braised vegetables.

Let's get started with a very basic brown sauce.

Sauce Brune

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Makes 2 cups


  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups beef bouillon
  • salt pepper


  1. Cook the onions on low heat in the butter for about five minutes (don't brown them).
  2. Mix in the flour and brown it for 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.
  3. Slowly stir in the bouillon and bring to a boil.
  4. Simmer the sauce on low to medium heat for 20 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. You can strain the sauce if you wish.

Learn more about French sauces.

Return to French Sauce Recipes.

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