Brown Sauces

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

brown sauces sauces brunes, a group of sauces in French cuisine which are based on what the French call glace de viande or espagnole. A general characteristic of these sauces is that they are rich in flavour and colour. However, depending on what ingredients are used to enhance the basic sauce, they present considerable diversity in appearance and flavour.

The most famous of them is perhaps bordelaise. Some others are bigarade (with the juice of bitter orange); chasseur, supposed to be like what hunters would put on their meat after the hunt; Madère, with Madeira; piquante, which is piquant; poivrade, peppery; and Robert, dating back to the 14th century and mentioned in the 16th by Rabelais, who attributed it to a certain ‘Robert’, whose identity is still a mystery.