Basic Brown Sauce

Save Recipe
  • Total: 6 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 6 hr
  • Yield: 2 cups
Share This Recipe


1 veal shank

2 veal knuckle bones

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

5 tablespoons tomato paste, divided

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 onion, cut in half

1 garlic bulb, cut in half

2 celery ribs, cut in chunks

2 carrots, cut in chunks

1 bunch fresh thyme

1 bottle dry red wine

1 quart water

1 quart beef broth, low sodium

Bouquet Garni, (thyme, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns)


  1. Place the veal shank and knucklebones in a roasting pan, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Roast in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 45 minutes. When the veal pieces are brown, brush them with 3 tablespoons of tomato paste and season again. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F and return the pan to the oven for 15 more minutes. Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Saute the mirepoix vegetables and thyme in the butter to coat then stir in the remaining tomato paste and continue cooking until the vegetables are caramelized. Pour in the red wine to deglaze, stir. Transfer the browned bones to the stockpot. Whisk in the water and broth. Add the bouquet garni and bring the sauce to a boil. Simmer gently for about 3 hours, skimming periodically. Strain the sauce through cheesecloth or a chinois to remove the bones and vegetable solids. Continue to cook for 1 hour more, skimming any foam that rises to the top, until the sauce is reduced to 2 cups and nicely thickened. Taste for strength and seasoning. May whisk in a pat of softened butter to finish the sauce.
  2. Serve with meats or poultry.