Bordelaise Sauce

Bordelaise [bore duh LAZ] Sauce is a great accompaniment for any grilled red meat. 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 and now in its fourth edition.


  • 2 1/4 C demi-glace*
  • 1 1/4 C Bordeaux wine (a dry red wine)
  • 1 oz shallots, finely chopped
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • 1 whole bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • Mushrooms, if desired
  • 1 tsp butter, melted
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 2 oz beef bone marrow, poached & diced**


Warm the demi-glace in a saucepan over medium heat. In a stockpot, bring the wine, shallots, pepper, bay leaf and thyme gently to a boil; cook slowly until the quantity is reduced to 1/4. Add the demi-glace and gently simmer for another 15 minutes. Strain the sauce. If you are using mushrooms, sauté them in a skillet and add to the pot. Finish with the butter, lemon juice and bone marrow. Serve over a grilled steak, slow-roasted beef or other red meat; the sauce is a good complement to roasted or mashed potatoes.

*You can buy demi-glace at a gourmet shop like Williams-Sonoma or Whole Foods, or in packets on You can also substitute a high quality beef stock or consommé.

**You can get bone marrow at your market’s meat counter. Bone marrow will give the sauce an extra richness but can be left out.

  • Makes 3-4 servings.