White Butter Sauce Recipe (Beurre Blanc)
Beurre blanc is a simple butter-based emulsified sauce that’s great with fish or seafood.
It’s a nice sauce to have in your repertoire because you can whip up a batch on the spot (all you really need is wine and butter), making it ideal for emergencies.
Good wines for the reduction (or au sec, meaning “nearly dry”) include Chablis, Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, but any drinkable dry white will do. For a deliciously luxurious beurre blanc, try making it with leftover Champagne.
Tip: Cold butter keeps the emulsion from breaking.
Here are some more sauces for fish and seafood.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
* 1 cup dry white wine
* ½ cup white wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
* 1 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
* 1 lb unsalted butter, cold
* Kosher salt, to taste
1. Heat wine, vinegar and shallots in a saucepan until the liquid boils, then lower the heat a bit and continue simmering until the liquid has reduced down to about 2 tablespoons. This should take about 10 minutes.
2. While the liquid reduces you can cut the butter into medium (½-inch) cubes, but either leave this until the reduction is nearly finished or return the butter cubes to the refrigerator to keep them cold while the liquid finishes reducing.
3. Once the wine-vinegar mixture has reduced to 2 tablespoons, reduce the heat to low and start adding the cubes of butter, one or two at a time, and whisk rapidly with a wire whisk.
4. As the butter melts and incorporates, add more butter and keep whisking. Continue until you only have 2-3 cubes remaining. Remove from heat while whisking in the last few cubes, and whisk for a moment or two more. The finished sauce should be thick and smooth.
5. Season to taste with sea salt. Traditionally the shallots would be strained out before serving, but doing so is optional. Serve right away.
Makes 2 cups of sauce.
Note: For a Beurre rouge (“red butter”) sauce, use red wine in the reduction instead of white.