What is Beurre Blanc?
Beurre Blanc is a fancy French way of saying “White Butter Sauce”. It also happens to be one of my favourite recipes to make because it’s relatively easy to assemble, uses only 4 ingredients (5 if you include salt) and promises to WOW your dinner guests! So, if you don’t mind hearing compliments for the rest of the evening, (maybe even the next day), give this yummy sauce a try next time you’re in the mood to kick your dinner up a notch! It goes great with Fish, Chicken, Cooked Vegetables, Seafood and Shellfish
How it’s made
Beurre Blanc is a warmed emulsion sauce. Emulsion sauces are made by combining ingredients that don’t normally mix. In the case of Beurre Blanc, butter is suspended in white wine vinegar. Traditional emulsifiers like egg yolks and mustard are added to stabilize an emulsion sauce to help prevent the sauce from separating or splitting. The emulsifier used in todays sauce is found in the milk solids of the butter.
1 large grey shallot, chopped finely
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup unsalted butter, cubed, chilled
Salt to taste
1. Add shallots, vinegar and wine to a medium sized, heavy-bottom sauce pan. Bring liquid to a boil then reduce down to 1 ounce.
"Keep an eye on your sauce pan when reducing such a small amount of liquid. It can quickly evaporate towards the very end, caramelizing or worse, burn your shallots and ruin your sauce. "
2. Once you have evaporated most of your liquid, leaving 1 ounce in the sauce pan, you can begin adding your chilled butter.
"Mis en place is important here. Have your butter already cubed and chilled, ready to go, so when you need it, it's ready for you"
3. Slowly whisk in 3-4 cubes of butter at a time, whisking constantly.
"Don't rush here by trying to add 5-10 pieces of butter and don't add more butter until the butter previously added is fully incorporated. You won't allow the butter to break down into tiny molecules and become suspended in the reduced wine"
4. Once all your butter has been fully incorporated in to your sauce, you can strain the shallots out through a fine strainer, adjust your seasoning as needed.
Prevent your sauce from splitting by making certain to add your ingredient in the correct order. Always begin mixing your wet ingredients together first and then VERY vigorously whisk in your butter.
Don’t let your sauce over heat or boil rapidly. This could force the butterfat to separate from the butter, leak out and split your sauce.
If your sauce doesn’t thicken, you may not have reduced your vinegar enough or you may have added too much. You can easily remedy this by whisking in more butter a few cubes at a time until your sauce has thickened.
If you sauce looked nice a creamy at first then thins, it has split. Most likely because your sauce has become too hot. Try whisking in 1-2 ice cubes. All the ingredients needed for an emulsion are present, they’ve simply over heated. The cold ice water should bring your sauce back together.
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