Sauce Espagnole

3 Tbl butter
2 Tbl flour
1/2 medium onion
1 carrot
1-2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
5 black peppercorns
14 oz beef stock
shot of white or red wine
1 Tsp of tomato paste
1/4 Tsp dried thyme
black pepper
Chop the onion and carrot coarsely. Halve the garlic.

Over a medium flame, melt the butter in a saucepan. Sprinkle the flour in - gradually. Stir constantly with a whisk - until the roux turns golden-brown in color and emits a nutty aroma. Lower the flame and introduce carrot, onion, garlic, and peppercorns into pan. Saute the vegetables until soft - about 8 minutes. Pour in the stock and wine. Whisk until the roux is perfectly incorporated into the liquids. Stir in the tomato paste. Throw in the thyme. Lower the flame to a slow simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced to 1 cup - approximately 45 minutes.

Skim whatever scum and detritus rises to the surface, periodically. Strain the sauce through a China Cap or a fine mesh collander into a bowl. (Do not press hard on the residue in the collander while straining the sauce. A very light pressing is what is needed.)