I am planning as couple grilled steaks this evening. I think a beurre rouge would be excellent.
Julienne, chiffonade, emince...? Fancy names. Simple concepts. Find clarity here.
I have been doing a lot reading in the art of french cooking (Julia Child, Thomas Keller, etc.) and these sauces are just so intergal to french cooking. One tip I picked up reading Thomas Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook, was the use of a stove top defuser to better control tempetures for delicate dishes (like Beurre Blanc). It works really well and would highly recommend it for all those saucier's out there!
I made a beurre blanc last night after following the cooking school lesson.
It did turn out successful in the end, however, the wine did not reduce to a nice syrup, it evaporated in the pan, I added more wine and it evaporated in the pan as well. The heat was low, so I don't think that was an issue. I then proceeded to add a little cream and finished the sauce. Delicious, by the way. I was wondering if the pan I used made a difference, I used a good quality non stick pan. Perhaps, I should seek out a good quality smaller thick bottom stainless steel pan?
I found that the butter sauces, both beurre blanc and beurre rouge worked very well in a heavy-bottomed stainless steel pan. The nice thing about this was that the pan bottom was heavy enough that I could heat the pan to a certain degree and then move it off the heat to work with it, just putting it back on the heat when it began to cool.
When the sauce was finished I put the saucier pan on top of a small pan of warm water and held the sauce that way. The small pan of water was on a warming section so it didn't over heat.
Thank-you for your reply... I will search for a heavy bottom stainless steel pan and make this sauce again soon, especially since there are so many variations. I have to admit that if I was following this recipe from a recipe book I would have panicked and not known what to do, the cooking lesson is what made my sauce successful in the end. When I finished the sauce,
I strained it, (the shallots were still rather al-dente for my liking), I did put the sauce in a bowl over warm water as well.
A beurre blanc should not be overly acidic. It should have a slight acidic note. If using white wine vinegar it will be slightly more acidic than if you used just white wine. Ultimately if it "tasted really really good" then you did a good job. If you want it to taste a bit more acidic you could finish with a squeeze of lemon juice at the end.
Hope this helps!
I made my first beurre blanc recently after the lesson and finished it with chives (kept it simple). It was fabulous!! I love these lessons - they really reinforce my confidence in the kitchen.
I'm reviewing the lesson now to make a sauce for poached salmon over spinach pasta. I'll try to keep my pouring hand light - it may be tough!!
I worked through this lesson and made the beurre blanc with shallots, chives and a nice Napa
Valley white. I served it over flounder with a large fresh salad on the side. Dinner was on the table in a flash and was delicious and impressive. Thanks again, Rouxbe!
If wine is not an option lemon juice, white wine vinegar or another acid can be used with great results. You are correct though that it will be a bit more acidic but it will still be very good.
I just made a beurre blanc last night...the liquid I used for the gastride was half rice wine vinegar and half white wine. I even finished the sauce with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and truffle oil...it was a bit tart but the rich butter helps to balance out the tartness.
I made the beurre blanc today, and though it was tasty, I found that it thickened in the pan! I kept it over low heat, never once taking it off...is there such a thing as heat that is too low? I just have a standard apartment stove, and usually have trouble with the getting the heat low enough (it's a really strong gas stove).
I added some water to try to thin it out, but it only stayed thinner for about 20 seconds before thickening up again, plus it had a watery taste right after.
Another thing I thought of is maybe I reduced the gastride too much and didn't have enough to make a liquid sauce? I'd love anyone's input!
Another question about the sauce breaking, I saw that we shouldn't put the sauce on a too-hot plate: is there any concern over putting the sauce on freshly-cooked food? Will it separate on fish fresh off the grill?
Good questions. And this tells you how tricky beurre blanc is, and how much experience you need to handle all its nuances. Your instincts to add water were right, but you may have to balance it with lemon juice for flavor. This sauce thickens as it cools, so it really likes to be made and used right away for optimal consistency.
You can never over-reduce a gastride too much, as I've seen some chefs reduce it dry (au sec).
Don't worry about pouring the sauce over hot food, but again, good question.
So, Manille, imagine after a few tries at this sauce, you'll be a beurre blanc expert.
Thank you, Tony! I certainly hope so- I can see myself using this sauce quite a bit!
If I may, another question I had was how much liquid should be added back into the beurre blanc if it's been reduced au sec? Is there a set ratio for butter:liquid?
made this the other night-it was delicious, but I turned away from the stove for just a second while reducing the gastride.
Nothing burned, and I decided to proceed with adding the butter. My chief food critic at home thought the result was a bit tart. Can this be counterbalanced by (gasp) adding more butter, or would adding back water have been a better choice?
We had it over seafood crepes and it was awesome.
My guess is that you aren't going to be eating this sauce every week. :) To counter balance the acidity, yes, just keep adding butter to mellow the flavors. This classic French butter sauce contains lots of butter, so don't fret by adding more.
Next time, reduce the gastride just until it is syrupy - the more you reduce, the more concentrated the flavor will be. Hope this helps!
If you reduced your gastride au sec, unintentionally, add a teaspoon or so of water to the pan before adding the butter. As you experienced, adding too much water at the end will affect the flavor; therefore, keep adding more butter, as this is a butter sauce.