by: Max M Rasmussen

Brown Sauce - Basic Sauce

Brown Sauce - Max M Rasmussen
The classic brown sauce must be made with a heavy dark stock with the right herbs. Then it will be good! A few stock cubes and a spoonful of sauce darkener just doesn't cut the mustard.


yields 5 dl (2 cups) sauce. (Expect to use 0.7-1 dl (1/4-1/2 cup) sauce per person)

  • 5 dl (2 cups) dark stock
  • 3 tbsp flour, cornstarch or arrowroot as thickener. (starch)
  • 4 tbsp Madeira or water to whisk the thickener in. 
  • 2-4 tbsp tomato puree. (optional) 


Bring the stock to a boil.

Whisk the starch and water / madeira together.

Whisk the thickener into the stock. Whip and pour vigorously, in a thin stream, in order to avoid lumps.

Add the tomato puree.

If you use cornstarch or arrowroot it should only cook for about 3 minutes.

If you use flour you should let it simmer for 20-30 minutes to remove the taste of flour.

Although, I prefer thickening with flour. It is a little bit more of a hassle, but I'm not much for the transparent sauces you get with cornflour and other simple starches.

Season with salt and pepper.


The basic rule for thickening a sauce is 3 tbsp of flour/starch per 1/2 liters (2 cups) of liquid. So if you know how much sauce you want to end up with, you can just add all the flour at once in the beginning of cooking.

If you do use cornstarch to thicken, you can avoid the transparent sauce by adding a bit of milk or cream.