what makes a good beurre blanc?

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Joined Jun 3, 2013
I work in an old an old school restaurant and Make about 100+ butter sauces a night. If you can think of it I have probably made it into a butter sauce.

The important thing is to reduce the wine or liquid down enough. It depends on the size batch your making. If you reduce the liquid to far it will not allow the butter to emusify and eventually break.

also most will make butter sauce on low heat and one piece at a time this is a bad technique. Use high heat and all your butter at once. This will allow your liquid to keep reducing while cooking and allow the butter to slowly emulsify into the wine.

For example here is a simple but great recipe.
1oz key lime juice
2oz white wine
1# unsalted butter
Salt to taste or base of your choice.
1 jalapeño

Slice jalapeño and add wine and juice, place
On high and reduce by about 2/3 once this add the full 1# butter cubbed and continue
To stir. Adjust seasoning and once butter has just about melted remove from heat then strain. This will result in a nice thick key lime jalapeño Beurre blanc.

This is the best technique also once you get comfortable you don't need to stir constantly and you can even let butter reduce to a certain point without breaking.

Pm me if you need any help
 
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Joined Jul 1, 2009
Dont have much to add to the part about technique. 

Sometimes i add pomme granate seeds just before serving. I like the flavour and its mild acidity as well as the visual part.

You could argue that the hard texture of the seeds is a bad thing, well to me it depends on the dish. 
 
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Joined Nov 2, 2013
I remember back when i started training as an intern i was helping my head chef and we were making some fish dishes. As we were plating them she told me to get the beurre blanch, and since i was the new guy and, the one with the least amount of experience i wanted to do everything as good as possible. So i tasted the sauce and noticed it was a bit too cold. So i put it on the fire with maximum heat only to watch the sauce change texture to something ugly.

And thats how i found out that the nice woman who were my head chef had quite a temper :)
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
 So i tasted the sauce and noticed it was a bit too cold. So i put it on the fire with maximum heat only to watch the sauce change texture to something ugly.

And thats how i found out that the nice woman who were my head chef had quite a temper /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
HOLY CRAP!!!    I'm laughing with you though because I have been there, done that, had that done to me. It is a wonder sometimes why anybody stays in this crazy business! Too funny, thanks for sharing that.
 
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Joined Nov 9, 2013
I preface this with the fact that I haven't actually used Beurre Blanc in many years. But, as far as the cream goes, we used to only use that to bring the sauce back together when it got too hot. We would just add a  touch, and I mean a touch, and whisk like crazy to bring it together again. Never tried the reduced cream, but I'm sure it would work great too.

The key is that it has to be made and held at a very certain temperature, though I have no clue what exact temp (warm but not hot). Many will hold it in a thermos, but we just held it in a moderately warm but not hot place. Depending on how busy we were, we'd probably make it one more time during service. Kind of inspires me to try it again very soon.

Really like the citrus idea by jgraeff
 
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Joined Jul 30, 2013
I will share a secret... most people wont like this, but you can literally boil this buerre blanc and it wont separate. i know a lot of chefs who do this... ready? slurry... yes i said it... slurry reduce your wine, lemon juice and shallots way before au sec, slightly slurry it and mound away. it will not break and you cannot taste the difference between this method and the traditional method, we do this when making large batches and it makes it dummy proof.
 
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Joined Aug 14, 2013
I will share a secret... most people wont like this, but you can literally boil this buerre blanc and it wont separate. i know a lot of chefs who do this... ready? slurry... yes i said it... slurry reduce your wine, lemon juice and shallots way before au sec, slightly slurry it and mound away. it will not break and you cannot taste the difference between this method and the traditional method, we do this when making large batches and it makes it dummy proof.
I can tell the difference, not to say its a bad method.
 

kuan

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Staff member
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Joined Jun 11, 2001
I will share a secret... most people wont like this, but you can literally boil this buerre blanc and it wont separate. i know a lot of chefs who do this... ready? slurry... yes i said it... slurry reduce your wine, lemon juice and shallots way before au sec, slightly slurry it and mound away. it will not break and you cannot taste the difference between this method and the traditional method, we do this when making large batches and it makes it dummy proof.
Then it's a bechabeurre blanc?  :D :D

Cook the shallots and they will release some starch.
 
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Joined Dec 6, 2012
"slightly slurry it" 

what do you mean. in my book that could mean two things.

I hope not its the one thing I think….
 
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Joined Jan 31, 2012
You know I could probably taste the difference too, but we're all pro chefs in here.

The real question is....can the guest/client/customer....or Aunt Margie??
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
The reason that I can taste the difference is not because I have a superhuman palate, although it is hard to admit that /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif, but rather because I have been exposed to traditional classical beurre blanc.

Aunt Margie probably thinks Applebee's is top notch because that has been her exposure. One of my goals as a chef is education.

I had been working in the industry and good restaurants for 5 years and considered my self pretty food savy when I got a job with a classically trained European chef, to say it was mind blowing was to sell it short. For the first time, I got an inkling into what a "real" chef is. It altered my life's path.

My food may not alter anyone else's life, but I still attempt to pay the enlightment, received from Chef F, forward.
 
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Aunt Margie probably thinks Applebee's is top notch because that has been her exposure.
Exactly right, and exactly what I meant, Chef. I have found the same phenomenon even more so with say,

Hollandaise Sauce. Friends and family would  praise  eggs benedict at their local diner or restaurant--

only to listen to me say "Um this Hollandaise aint so good" But once I make them a nice rich scratch batch for comparison....

viola!
 
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Joined Jan 8, 2014
I make beur blanc everyday at my job an there's a couple of thing I always looking for. First I try to keep an eye on the white wine. Reducing it too far tends to make the sauce too acidic and kills the palate. I typically add cream in mine, a fair amount actually. For our menus intents and purposes our beur blanc needs to be pretty creamy, though its not necessary. If you do add cream, wait until it's reduced by at least half before you start working in any butter. If not it will be to runny and will look and feel too much like a broth. Obviously work the butter in with a wire whip to make sure it emulsifies. 

In terms of ratio, I guess it just depends on what your using it for. I'm just fine with equal parts cream and wine. Butter just work in until its thick enough to call a sauce and has the richness i'm looking for. I've also has a lot of success in terms of flavor working in things like lemon juice, lemon zest, leeks, and fresh herbs. I really don't think vinegar is necessary. If you need more acid, i'd rather work in a citrus fruit and add another dimension of flavor than just acidity.

Hope this helped a bit.
 
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Joined Jun 3, 2013
Ya slurry is not a good idea, my chef would kick you out if you did that.

Techniques are meant to be learned and tested through trial and error. Sure you can always make it easier, add cream, slurry, roux, or other stabilizer but let's be honest about what your doing.

Your not only making it easier and well less correct but your also changing the flavor and texture of the sauce.

It depends on the establishment but most places would find this acceptable and it may be perfectly ok for what they use it for.

For me I find things that ate difficult a challenge and try to achieve it in the best and possibly hardest way (not that Beurre blanc is hard to make) Some things are best left simple and I think butter sauces are one of them.
 
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Joined Apr 8, 2015
What makes a good beurre blanc? Tlc! The trick to not letting a beurre blanc break is to add the butter fast enough so that it infuses with the wine after the wine is reduced. Yes there are several recipes, I make this sauce on a daily basis. Holding it at about 90 degrees works for me.

If it does break...... heat some cream up and slowly stir your broken sauce into it. It should thicken up.

To prevent it from breaking in the first place..... well, don't look at it wrong! Even top chefs break a beurre blanc. I know, I work in a top 10 kitchen of 15 years. Play with it and see what works best for you. Have confidence in your skills. Also my advise is definitely to strain the shallots. I also use garlic and some kind of juice (I just made a beurre blanc with blood oranges tonight) did it break? No! Not because I'm experienced but because I got lucky.
 
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