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What Is Chasseur Sauce?

Have you heard about chasseur sauce? Perhaps you’ve seen it in a recipe somewhere or maybe on the menu at a restaurant? Either way, chances are you want to know what exactly chasseur sauce is and what it tastes like. Perhaps, you’ll even get inspired to learn how to make it…or find out where to buy it!

So, what is Chasseur sauce? Chasseur sauce is a sauce of French origin, and the literal meaning is hunter’s sauce. It’s a very flavorful brown sauce traditionally paired with game meat. It’s from a base of demi-glace or Espagnole sauce and white wine. Usually, it contains mushrooms and shallots and sometimes tomatoes. Herbs are often used to season it.

It also goes by the name of sauce chasseur, by the way.

So you may see it referred to it as that, too. The terms are used quite interchangeably.

Nevertheless, let’s see what this sauce is made of before turning to what it pairs best with!

or sauce chasseur as it’s also called

What Is Chasseur Sauce Made Of?

Chasseur sauce is a brown sauce made from demi-glace sauce (though some say you can use Espagnole sauce instead, which is one of the ingredients of demi-glaze). Often it contains mushrooms and shallots and sometimes tomatoes. Herbs, such as parsley or thyme, are often used to season it.

Invented by Frenchman Philippe de Mornay, chasseur sauce, or sauce chasseur as it’s called in French, is a sauce used mainly for game meat.

Which explains why the French name of the sauce translates to “hunter’s sauce.” 

Traditional ingredients for chasseur sauce include demi-glace, butter, mushrooms, tomato paste/sauce, chopped tomatoes, shallots, herbs, white wine, salt, and pepper.

As making demi-glace is quite a time-consuming affair, granted you need Espagnole sauce to make it, you can cheat and use beef stock, or at the very least sub the demi-glace for Espagnole sauce, saving you the bother of making demi-glace (phew). 

Let’s have a look at two different recipes for chasseur sauce. 

Recipe Option One for Chasseur Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots, from 1 large or 2 small shallots
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 4 cups demi-glace
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

For full recipe instructions, look here

Recipe Option Two for Chasseur Sauce 

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided 
  • ½ cup thinly sliced cremini or wild mushrooms 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots 
  • ½ cup dry white wine 
  • ¼ cup canned tomato sauce 
  • ¼ cup demi-glace or beef stock 
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
  • Salt, to taste 
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh chervil, tarragon, and/or parsley

For full recipe instructions, look here

Recipe Option Three For Chasseur Sauce 

  • 1 cup white wine
  • 6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 ounces shallots, minced
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1-quart demi-glace
  • 8 ounces tomatoes, diced
  • 2 teaspoons parsley, chopped

For full recipe instructions, look here

Your next obvious question would be, “How do I make demi-glace?”

Unless, of course, you intend to cheat and use beef stock… So, let’s have a look at the ingredients for demi-glace.

Demi-glace Recipe

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 to 4 fresh parsley stems
  • 7 to 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups brown sauce (Espagnole sauce)
  • 2 cups beef stock

For full recipe instructions, look here

And, as mentioned, demi-glace calls for Espagnole sauce, or can be replaced by Espagnole sauce, which leads us to a recipe for that.

Espagnole Sauce Recipe

  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 to 4 fresh parsley stems
  • 7 to 8 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 ounce clarified butter 
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ¼ cup diced carrot
  • ¼ cup diced celery
  • 1-ounce all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups brown stock (i.e., beef stock)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree

For full recipe instructions, look here

As you can see, making chasseur sauce is quite the process unless you cheat and use beef stock instead of demi-glace.

But you can imagine back in the day when the sauce was made from scratch–the cook didn’t just have to make demi-glace and Espagnole sauce up front; they’d also have to make beef stock and clarified butter. 

Oh, and there’s something called chicken chasseur as well–it basically contains the same ingredients, save from the beef stock, and you cook the chicken together with the sauce.

A great option if you aren’t a fan of beef stock. 

On that note–if you do not eat beef, swap the beef stock for chicken stock when making the chasseur sauce. 

What Does Chasseur Sauce Taste Like?

Chasseur sauce is a very flavorful brown sauce that tastes of beef stock, shallots, white wine, and mushrooms with a hint of tomatoes and herbs. It’s not a creamy sauce, meaning the flavor doesn’t get diluted nor enhanced by cream. 

As chasseur sauce has a base made of demi-glace or beef stock, you can say it tastes mainly of beef stock but also of the shallots, mushrooms, white wine, and tomatoes used.

Depending on what recipe you follow, you’ll use different herbs that also add their flavor profile.

Of course, it will also taste of the salt and pepper used. 

What Do You Eat Chasseur Sauce With?

Chasseur sauce was created to be eaten with meats brought home from the hunt. Venison, rabbit, and other game meats. 

Today, you also serve chasseur sauce with beef and chicken, too.

And, as also pointed out, you can use chicken stock instead of beef stock if you don’t eat beef.

That does drastically change the taste of the sauce, though.  

What Is Similar To Chasseur Sauce? 

Other brown sauces made with white wine, including the aforementioned Espagnole sauce and demi-glace, have a slightly similar taste profile to Chasseur sauce. However, not all brown sauces contain mushrooms, which adds a lot of flavor to the chasseur sauce. Chicken chasseur sauce naturally tastes a lot like chasseur sauce–the difference being it’s made with chicken instead of beef. 

To clarify, a brown sauce is traditionally a sauce made with meat stock as its base.

It’s thickened by reduction and, sometimes, a browned roux (i.e., flour and butter). 

The vegetables, herbs, and wine used to flavor a brown sauce, on the other hand, vary.

Some brown sauces don’t contain any wine at all.

Chasseur sauce is made with white wine, so other brown sauces made with white wine are closer in flavor profile than brown sauces made with red wine. 

Some brown sauces, especially red wine ones, are flavored by fruits as opposed to vegetables. 

In Scandinavia, they add a colorant, such as soy, to brown sauces. They sometimes also use cream in them. 

Common Variations of Brown Sauces

  • Bordelaise sauce – Demi-glace cooked with red wine, shallots, and spices and mixed with diced bone marrow.
  • Bigarade sauce – A brown sauce flavored with bitter orange juice and peel. The sauce is served with duck.
  • Breton sauce – Espagnole sauce flavored with onion, white wine, butter, garlic, and parsley.
  • Devilled sauce – Demi-glace flavored with reduced white wine, vinegar, cayenne pepper, and select herbs.
  • Piquante sauce – Devilled sauce mixed with diced gherkins and select herbs.
  • Duxelles sauce – Demi-glace cooked with mushroom duxelles, white wine or a stock, and tomato fondue.
  • Italienne sauce – Espagnole sauce flavored with mushrooms, onion/shallots, a lean ham, white wine, tomato puree, and parsley. Stock is sometimes used instead of Espagnole sauce during preperation.
  • Lyonnaise sauce – Demi-glace mixed with diced onions cooked with vinegar and white wine. The sauce may be flavored with tomato puree.
  • Madeira sauce – Espagnole sauce flavoured with Madeira.
  • Périgueux sauce – Madeira sauce flavored with truffles.
  • Périgourdine sauce – Demi-glace or Espagnole sauce flavoured with foie gras puree and truffles.
  • Poivrade sauce – Espagnole sauce flavored with pepper, ham, herbs, and vegetables.
  • Moscovite sauce – Poivrade sauce flavored with sultanas, pine kernels, and juniper berries.
  • Venison sauce – Espagnole sauce mixed and boiled with a reduced mixture of Burgundy wine, vinegar, sugar, lemon, and redcurrant jelly.

As you can see, a lot of the sauces use Espagnole sauce as a base. 

Finally

Chasseur sauce is a classic French sauce that’s been around for a long time–and for a good reason, it’s delicious! 

If you like a nice brown sauce that’s extremely flavorful, chances are you’ll love this classic, whether you decide to go all out and make Espagnole sauce and demi-glace or just sub with beef stock (or chicken stock if you don’t eat beef). 

It’s actually very easy to make if you just use beef stock. 

You may even go as far as to buy the sauce in a supermarket if you don’t have time to make it, though you may enjoy learning how to make such a classic French sauce.  

Next time you serve game, try serving it with chasseur sauce and see what you think!

Interested in learning about more sauces? Then check out these other guides: