leave your inhibitions at the door
Whassup my lil Jacques Pepin gangsta wannabes? Y’all been making that brown stock I showed you how to make? I sure hope so because I’m gonna teach y’all how to lay this Espagnole shizzle all over your fizzle.
It’s probably no surprise to y’all that when I was growing up I spent most of my time helping my mama in the kitchen. So while my homies were out there playing video games and gangbanging, I was in the kitchen banging pots and pans. It seemed the only time I left the hizzouse was to go chase shorties. Now, “chase” might be a strong word ‘cause that implies some kind of effort on my part. Even back in the day, they came to ME. Ya heard me?
Sir Mix-a-Lotta-Ingredients here loves all kinds of females – black, white, tall, short – they all got their special qualities. Even the hairy ones. And to me, sauces are like the ladies – there’s all kinds and they make everything better. For most of y’all, they can be intimidating since y’all don’t know what y’all doing. But in the hands of a master such as myself, yeah dawg!
The first one I taught you was Bechamel and if I were to describe it as a lady I’d say it’s like Martha Stewart – creamy white, silky smooth, downright luscious. Espagnole’s like Beyonce – dark, deep, classic, versatile, sultry.
Hot Damn! Aight, nuff about about the ladies. Let’s make some sauce.
First, let’s make the Espagnole –
- 1 cup onions, diced
- ½ cup carrots, diced
- ½ cup celery, diced
- 2 Tbsp clarified butter *
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 6 cups brown stock
- ¼ cup tomato purée
- bouquet garni – 1 bay leaf, ½ tsp dried thyme, 3-4 fresh parsley stems tied together or in one of fancy-assed lil bags
1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it becomes frothy. Add the mirepoix and sauté for a few minutes until it’s lightly browned.
2. With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the mirepoix a little bit at a time, until it is fully incorporated and forms a thick paste or roux. Lower the heat and cook the roux for another five minutes or so, until it’s light brown. Don’t let it burn! The roux will have a slightly nutty aroma at this point.
3. Using a wire whisk, slowly add the stock and tomato purée to the roux, whisking vigorously to make sure it’s free of lumps.
4. Bring to a boil, lower heat, add the sachet and simmer for about 50 minutes or until the total volume has reduced by about one-third, stirring frequently to make sure the sauce doesn’t scorch at the bottom of the pan. Use a ladle to skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.
5. Remove the sauce from the heat and retrieve the sachet. For an extra smooth consistency, carefully pour the sauce through a wire mesh strainer lined with a piece of cheesecloth.
6. Serve hot. If not serving the sauce right away, keep it covered and warm until you’re ready to use it. Makes about 1 quart of Espagnole sauce.
So now what? Damn, homies, it’s cool as is. But if y’all want to reach pure chef pimpdom, you can make other sauces, depending on what you’re serving.
- Bordelaise – add red wine and shallots
- Chasseur (Hunter’s) – add mushrooms, shallots, white wine, tomatoes
- Chateaubriand – add white wine, shallots, lemon juice, cayenne, tarragon
- Mushroom – add mushrooms and lemon juice
- Poivrade – add vinegar, white wine, peppercorns. Then add bacon, red wine and cayenne to make Chevreuil.
Y’all get the picture. This time I made some Chasseur, which is usually good with wild game, but there’s a serious shortage of venison and rabbits here in the ‘hood. So I put it on a steak.
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- ¼ cup chopped shallots
- 1 cup white wine
- 4 cups Espagnole
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat until it’s frothy. Add the mushrooms and shallots and sauté until the mushrooms are soft and the shallots are translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the wine, heat until the liquid boils, then lower the heat a bit and continue simmering until the liquid has reduced by about three-fourths.
3. Add the demi-glace and the diced tomato, then lower heat to a simmer and reduce for about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the chopped parsley and serve right away.
Good luck my lil homies!