For 1 quart of brown sauce
A heavy-bottomed, 2-quart saucepan
A wooden spatula or spoon
1/3 cup each: finely diced carrots, onions, and celery
3 tablespoons diced boiled ham (I had a chunk of Black Forest ham) I don’t think that I would like the sauce with the bacon…too smoky tasting
6 tablespoons clarified butter
4 Tb flour
6 cups boiling brown beef stock (Knorr condensed beef stock worked for me)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
An herb bouquet: 3 parsley sprigs, ½ bay leaf, and ¼ tsp thyme tied in cheesecloth
Salt and pepper
Cook the vegetables and ham or bacon slowly in the butter, fat, or oil for 10 minutes.
Blend the flour into the vegetables and stir continually over moderately low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the flour slowly turns a golden, nut-brown.
Remove from heat. With a whisk, immediately blend in all the boiling liquid at once. Beat in the tomato paste. Add the herb bouquet.
Simmer slowly, partially covered, for 2 hours or more, skimming off fat and scum as necessary. Add more liquid if sauce thickens too much. You should end up with about 4 cups of sauce. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.
Taste and strain, pressing juice out of vegetables. Pour into fat separator cup, voilà a delicious sauce.
If not used immediately, clean off sides of pan, and float a film of stock over the top of the sauce to prevent a skin from forming. When cold, cover and refrigerate or freeze.