Bordelaise sauce is a classic French sauce named after the Bordeaux region of France, which is famous for its wine. The sauce is made with dry red wine, bone marrow, butter, shallots and sauce demi-glace. Sauce marchand de vins ("wine-merchant's sauce") is a similar designation. Traditionally, bordelaise sauce is served with grilled beef or steak, though it can also be served with other meats that pair well with red wine demi-glace based sauces.
The sauce has appeared on US restaurant menus since 1882, if not earlier.
New Orleans Bordelaise
A Bordelaise sauce in traditional New Orleans cooking is different from the French classical version, although both are available in the city. The basic flavor is garlic rather than red wine and bone marrow. Another sauce called Bordelaise in New Orleans consists of butter, olive oil, chopped shallots, parsley and garlic. This combination is the foundation of the classic escargots bordelaises, a dish that was available in New Orleans restaurants early in the twentieth century. The association of Bordelaise with garlic may have begun with this dish and then shifted to the demi-glace version. A 1904 Creole recipe calls for garlic and parsley in addition to green onions, red wine, beef marrow and "Spanish sauce".
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- "Jas. II. Breslin & Bro's. Hotel," Brighton Beach, NY, menu dated June 15, 1882: "Sirloin Steak, ... à la Bordelaise."
- Soniat, Leon E. La Bouche Creole, p.58. Pelican Publishing, 1983.
- Eustis, Celestine. Cooking in Old Creole Days, p. 35. R.H. Russell, 1904.