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Video:How to Make Beurre Blanc

with John Mitzewich

Beurre blanc, or white butter, is a classic and delicious French wine and butter sauce. Versatile and simple to make, beurre blanc has a light texture and rich flavor that goes great with different types of seafood.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Beurre Blanc

Hi, I'm Chef John Mitzewich for About.com, today I'm going to show you how to make the famous French butter sauce beurre blanc.

Beurre Blanc Ingredients

Alright, so beurre blanc means "white butter." It's a white butter sauce that begins with white wine. So we need:
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1/4 cup of white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp finely minced shallots
  • 8 oz of cold unsalted butter, which is 1 cup or 2 sticks, cut in cubes

Heat the Beurre Blanc Ingredients

Into a saucepan we're going to add the wine, vinegar and shallots. Over medium heat we're going to bring that to a simmer and reduce it down by about 75-80%. Don't walk away from it because it will burn quickly, so watch it reduce, until it gets down to this. Now at that point we would turn the heat to low and whisk in our butter, if we were a very old school chef. But, what we're going to do is add 2 tbsp of heavy cream.

Now, there is no cream in real beurre blanc, I want that to be clear. But if you add the cream you have a much higher success rate as the cream will stabilize the emulsification and will help incorporate the butter. So, it's not a must, but it does make it easier for the home cook in my experience.

Whisk in the Butter

If you choose to add the cream let it reduce for 2 minutes, and then turn the heat down to low and begin whisking in the butter, 5 or 6 pieces at a time. I like to wait until about half the butter disappears before adding the next few chucks. Keep doing that until all the butter is gone. It will probably take 6 or 7 additions, and all that butter will be incorporated. Remember this was on the lowest heat setting you have.

Season the Beurre Blanc

Once it's all incorporated, season with salt to taste, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 tsp, and your beurre blanc is ready to serve. This is going to make just about a cup of sauce. It is an incredible combination of light and rich - nice and tangy from the reduction.

Now, don't be afraid of this sauce breaking. To prove it I'm going to bring this up to a rolling boil, breaking all the beurre blanc making rules and this isn't going to break - partially because of the cream we added. So that's why people sneak it in, even though the purist don't. It just makes it more stable. And there we go.

Serving Beurre Blanc

We're going to serve that with some seafood usually, I have some delicious scallops here, shrimp is good, any kind of light fish, people use it on chicken and veal. It's really easy to customize with herbs or different vinegars. Anyway, that's how you make beurre blanc. Very simple, very delicious. I hope you give it a try. Enjoy.

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