Thursday, 14 October 2010

Making Beurre Blanc

Beurre Blanc is a classic french sauce, literally translated from French as "white butter". A rich, hot butter sauce made with a reduction of vinegar and/or white wine and shallots into which cold butter is blended off the heat to prevent separation.
The traditional sauce has just some lemon juice and salt added to it at the end, however an endless range of derivatives can be prepared by varying the ingredients in the reduction or altering the garnish ingredients.
To give you some examples:
Beurre Nantais- adding cream
Beurre Rouge -  using red wine vinegar instead of white
Beurre Blanc Citron - using lemon (or another acid like orange) instead of wine.
Adding herbs such as mint, chives, tarragon, depending on ehat you are serving it with or with a pinch of saffron for a rich, flavorsome sauce.
It pairs beautifully with white fish, salmon, shellfish, asparagus...

Ingredients for a classic Beurre Blanc:

100ml dry white wine
30ml white wine vinegar
1 shallot, chopped
250g butter
lemon juice, to taste
salt

1. Place the white wine, white wine vinegar and shallots in a saucepan on high heat. Reduce until you are only left with 30ml of liquid in the pan (about a tbsp to give you an idea).


2. Once the wine and vinegar liquid has reduced start to whisk in the diced butter over low heat, making sure that the butter emulsifies rather then just melts. 


3. Add more butter once each piece has been incorporated. Continue until you have a smooth, glossy beurre blanc.


4. Add salt and a squeeze of lemon to taste.


5. Pass it through a fine sieve to remove the shallots.


6. Keep your beurre blanc at room temperature until you need it.


7. Keep your beurre blanc at room temperature until you need it.




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