Brown Sauce

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Brown Sauce is the basis for taking dishes to the next level.

This is how I like to make one of the essential French mother sauces, Espagnole, or brown sauce.  The depth of flavor it brings to your favorite dishes in wonderful.

brown sauce recipe


The ingredients are simple and straightforward for this classic recipe.

Of course, homemade beef stock is always best, but even a good quality store bought brand will produce good flavor. But, make from scratch…if you can!

We like to make a big batch of the homemade beef stock well in advance, and then freeze it. It’s the made-from-scratch items that make all the difference!

Brown sauce recipe


I use this to add depth and richness to dishes such as Chicken Marsala..

You just can’t believe how this incredible sauce enhances the flavor so much. It’s almost like a demo-glaze, but not near as difficult to make.

I always make a double batch and freeze it. It’s also wonderful in gravies and sauces. And did I mention Chicken Marsala? Oh yes, indeed!


You can easily double this recipe and then freeze in batches for future use. It truly is the basis for really exceptional dishes.

brown sauce recipe

Now, let’s make this awesome Brown Sauce Recipe!

A white bowl of brown sauce

Brown Sauce

This Brown Sauce recipe adds depth and richness to many dishes, such as Chicken Marsala, and it can be made in large quantities (double the recipe) and then easily frozen for future use. Go with homemade beef stock, if you've got the time. It makes this sauce even better!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: French / Italian
Keyword: Brown sauce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 280kcal


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 celery rib chopped
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 carrot peeled and chopped
  • Few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 6 cups beef stock
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the celery, onion, carrots and thyme and cook them for 4 to 5 minutes, until soften and turning golden brown.
  • Meanwhile, in a large pot, bring the beef stock to a boil.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir them constantly for about 5 to 6 minutes until the flour is absorbed.
  • Carefully add 3 cups of the hot stock to the vegetable mixture and whisk until it is combined.
  • Add the rest of the stock and the Worcestershire sauce and continue to whisk it.
  • Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer for 1 hour, skimming off any fat from the surface and making sure it does not come to a boil.
  • Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Sauce is now ready for use, or transfer to storage container and refrigerate for 1 week or freeze ups up to 3 months.


Calories: 280kcal
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  • 5 stars
    Absolutely love this recipe! Not only for use in your chicken marsala recipe, but I like to use it as gravy on mashed potatoes 🙂 It tastes like all the great flavors of Thanksgiving combined.

    • Hi Pat! Woo hoo! We LOVE that you made the brown sauce!! We agree, every time we make it for chicken marsala, we make an extra batch! On top of mashies sounds heavenly! Thank you so much for sharing and for the GREAT review. That means the world to us! Stay in touch, Kris & Wesley

    • Hi Pam, we always recommend a mixture of soy sauce and ketchup, equal parts of each. It’s surprisingly close in taste to Worcestershire sauce. Hope this helps and let us know if you make the brown sauce and how everything turns out! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • 5 stars
    This is one of several of your recipes I have made in the last week and it does not disappoint. The sauce is incredibly delicious on its own, but I used it in your chicken marsala recipe as called for. All I can say is it was phenomenal! I have never had such a rich and deeply flavored chicken marsala in my life. You guys truly knocked it out of the park. I will be combing through your recipe list now and choosing other things to try. You should seriously think about publishing a cookbook. Many thanks from your new fan.

    • Hi Brenda! Well…you officially just made our day! We are THRILLED you had such great success with the Brown Sauce! We think it takes the marsala sauce to the next level and we are so happy you did, too! Thank you so much for sharing, for the wonderful review, and your support! That honestly means the world to us! Please stay in touch! Kris & Wesley

    • Hi Ann! 6 cups! You got us nervous and worried that we had left it out! It’s there, you just missed it. No worries! Let us know if you make the sauce and what you do with it. It’s soooo good!!! Best, Kris & Wesley

    • Hi Matt,

      I’ve never used this in a slow cooker, but I don’t think it would be an issue. I’d make the sauce first, and then add it to the chicken in the slow cooker. Let us know how it turns out! Best, Kris & Wesley

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