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Bordelaise Sauce

Bordelaise [bore duh LAZ] sauce is a great accompaniment for any grilled red meat, and Bordeaux wine is the key to this recipe’s rich taste. The author of this classic recipe is Georges Auguste Escoffier; it appears in his book Le Guide Culinaire, first published in French in 1903, which has become a classic on the art of cooking.


  • 3 oz (85 g) demi-glace*
  • 1¼ C (355 ml) Bordeaux wine (or a dry red wine)
  • 2 T (30 g) shallots, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme or 1/4 tsp (0.1 g) dried thyme
  • 1½ C (99 g) mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 T (29 g) butter, divided
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 oz (57 g) beef bone marrow, poached & diced**


Warm demi-glace in a saucepan over medium heat. In a stockpot, bring wine, shallots, pepper, bay leaf and thyme gently to a boil; cook slowly until reduced to ¼. Add demi-glace and gently simmer another 15 minutes; strain. Sauté mushrooms with 1 T butter in a skillet; add to sauce. Finish sauce with remaining butter, lemon juice and bone marrow.

Serving Suggestion

Serve over a grilled steak, slow-roasted beef or other red meat; or with roasted or mashed potatoes.

*Purchase demi-glace at Williams-Sonoma, Whole Foods or; or reduce a high-quality beef stock or consommé.

** Bone marrow provides extra richness to the sauce, and can be purchased at a local butcher, or it can be omitted.

  • Prep time: 5 minutes.
  • Cook time: 15 minutes.
  • Makes 4 servings.