Bordelaise Sauce Made with Red Wine Stock

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • yield: 1 cup , about



Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

This classic sauce, once made with white wine, is made in a classic kitchen by adding demi-glace or glace de viande to a red wine reduction and finishing the sauce with cubes of beef marrow. The marrow can be replaced with a swirl of butter. The red wine is best reduced along with the demi-glace or glace de viande so the proteins take out some of the tannin. Best of all is a Bordelaise sauce made starting with red wine stock (simply make a veal stock or other stock using red wine instead of water). As for all brown sauces, the thickness of the sauce is largely a matter of taste. If red wine stock is used, very little reduction will be required to cook off the acid and tannin in the wine and the sauce can be left almost like a rich broth, served around a good steak in a soup plate, or it can be reduced and thickened with butter, perhaps in conjunction with hydrocolloids, emulsifiers, and emulsion stabilizers.


red wine stock or red wine and veal, beef, or chicken demi-glace or glace de viande 2 cups or 1 cup and ¾ cup or ¼ cup 500 ml or 250 ml and 185 ml or 60 ml
minced shallots (about 1 shallot) 2 tbsp 30 ml
black pepper, crushed 1 tsp 5 ml
fresh or dried thyme or dried thyme leaves 1 sprig or 1 pinch 1 sprig or 1 pinch
imported bay leaf ½ leaf ½ leaf
red wine vinegar (or to taste) 2 tsp 10 ml
cognac 2 tsp 10 ml
beef marrow cubes or cold butter oz 45 g
salt to taste to taste


  1. Combine the red wine stock, or the red wine and the demi-glace or glace de viande, with the shallots, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf and simmer gently until reduced by slightly more than half, or until the sauce has a lightly syrupy consistency. Strain into a clean saucepan.
  2. Whisk in the vinegar and Cognac, simmer for 30 seconds, and whisk in the marrow or butter. Season with salt.