1/3 cup onion
1/3 cup carrot
1/3 cup celery
3 tbsp ham or bacon
6 tbsp butter or the fat from roasted chicken or cooking oil
4 tbsp flour
6 cup brown beef stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 parsley springs
½ bay leaf
¼ tsp thyme
Salt and pepper
1. Cook onion, celery, carrot and ham or bacon slowly in butter, fat or oil for 10 minutes.
2. Blend the flour into the vegetables and stir continually over moderately low heat for 8-10 minutes. Until the flour turns golden, nut brown.
3. Remove from heat and beat with wire whip while adding the stock.
4. Beat in tomato paste and add in herbs.
5. Simmer slowly, partially covered, for 2 hours or more, skimming off fat and scum as necessary. Add more stock if the sauce thickened too much. The sauce should be reduced to about 4 cups of sauce.
6. Strain through the sieve and season well with salt and pepper.