Sauce Rouennaise I

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • yield:

    1½ cups

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

Nineteenth-century food writers simplified sauce rouennaise by defining it as derived from a red wine sauce base—Sauce Bordelaise—finished with livers puréed with butter. Named for the Norman city Rouen, it is unlikely that sauce rouennaise has its roots in Bordeaux.

A more elaborate and probably more authentic version (except for the foie gras, which can be omitted anyway) can be prepared with duck stock, duck blood and liver, and foie gras.


red wine ½ cup 125 ml
small bouquet garni 1 1
brown duck stock 1 cup 250 ml
duck liver (not foie gras) 1 1
foie gras 1 oz 25 g
butter 1 oz 30 g
liquid lecithin (optional) 1 g
heavy cream or crème fraîche ¼ cup 60 ml
duck blood ¼ cup 60 ml
cognac a few drops a few drops
wine vinegar a few drops a few drops
salt and pepper to taste to taste


  1. Reduce the red wine by half in a saucepan with the bouquet garni.
  2. Add the duck stock and reduce the mixture again by half. Skim off any froth that floats to the surface.
  3. Purée the duck liver, foie gras, butter, and lecithin, if using, in a food processor. Work the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer. Keep the purée covered with plastic wrap until needed.
  4. Add the cream to the reduced red wine–stock mixture. Bring to a simmer for 1 minute.
  5. Off the heat, whisk the liver mixture into the reduced stock mixture.
  6. Whisk the hot sauce into the blood in a stainless-steel bowl. Return the sauce to the sauce-pan.
  7. Add a few drops each Cognac and vinegar to the sauce. The sauce can be thinned if necessary by adding stock or cream. Season with salt and pepper.