White wine and butter sauce- there, does that sound better? The key concept is that the white wine and lemon juice is greatly reduced before adding the butter. If you don’t reduce the liquid enough, you’ll have a very runny sauce. Once you’ve made the beurre blanc a time or two, experiment with your own variations adding fresh herbs, lime juice, flavored vinegars, etc. Often, chefs add a little heavy cream during the reduction to stabilize the sauce and give it some extra body.
The sauce is great on fish and upland game.
- 2 tablespoons shallots finely minced
- 1/2 cup white wine or dry vermouth
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice or white wine vinegar
- 4 ounces unsalted butter cut into pieces
- salt and white pepper to taste
- In a non-aluminum saucepan, combine shallots with the wine. Reduce liquid to 1 or 2 tablespoons. Remove from heat and add one chunk of butter, stirring with a whisk to blend. Slowly add all the pieces of butter until well combined. If you need to return the sauce to the heat to incorporate all the butter, do it over very low heat, or the sauce will break. Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer and serve immediately, or hold in a double boiled over barely simmering water, or in a Thermos.