Meurette Sauce

Burgundian Red Wine Sauce


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • yield: 1 cup , about



Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

The classic version of this sauce contains no meat stock, so it can be quickly prepared by home cooks. Meurette sauce is popular in Burgundy, where it is served over poached eggs as shown here, but it is a versatile sauce that can also be used over meat or even fish. This sauce is made by sweating aromatic vegetables (mirepoix) with unsmoked cured ham (prosciutto), then moistening with red wine. It can be improved by sweating fresh meat trimmings with the ham-mirepoix base and by using some concentrated stock (four to six times) along with the red wine. Add a bouquet garni and 3 cups (750 milliliters) red wine, and gently simmer the mixture for 30 minutes. The sauce base can be reduced to a very small amount and the sauce finished with butter alone, or the base can be reduced less dramatically and the sauce then finished with beurre manié.


onion, peeled, minced 1 small 1 small
carrot, minced 1 medium 1 medium
celery, minced ½ stalk ½ stalk
garlic cloves, crushed 2 2
prosciutto, chopped (see Note) 3 tbsp 45 ml
meat trimmings, diced (optional) 1 cup 250 ml
butter (for the mirepoix) 1 oz 30 g
glace de viande (optional) 2 tbsp 30 ml
red wine 3 cups 750 ml
medium bouquet garni 1 1
cold butter (if using beurre manié) 1 tbsp 15 g
flour (if using beurre manié) 1 tbsp 15 g
cold butter (if using butter alone) 4 oz 100 g
red wine vinegar 2 tsp 10 ml
salt and pepper to taste to taste


  1. Cook the onions, carrot, celery, garlic, prosciutto, and meat trimmings, if using, in butter in a saucepan over medium heat until well browned and any juices released by the meat have caramelized on the bottom of the pan. Stir in the glace de viande, if using, and stir over medium heat for about 2 minutes to caramelize the glaze slightly. (A)

  2. Pour over the red wine (B)

    and add the bouquet garni (C).

    Simmer gently for 30 minutes. Strain into a clean saucepan and simmer down to 1 cup (125 milliliters) if you’re using beurre manié, or ½ cup (125 milliliters) if you’re using only butter.

  3. If using beurre manié, work the tablespoon of butter and the flour into a paste. Whisk half the beurre manié or all the butter into the sauce (D)

    and bring back to a simmer for just a second (E).

    If you’re using beurre manié and the sauce is too thin, whisk in the remaining beurre manié and return to a simmer. Whisk in the vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Alternatives and Variations

If wild mushrooms are available, by all means use them. They can be infused in the simmering red wine for 5 to 10 minutes, removed, and added whole to the sauce at the end, or they can be simply sautéed, sprinkled with herbs and chopped shallots, and used as a garniture. Infusions of wild mushrooms such as cèpes (porcini) can be put into spheres (see spherification).

As concerns alternative thickeners, the classic and traditional thickeners, beurre manié or pure butter, are best left alone.