An Easy Beurre Blanc Recipe aka White Wine Butter Sauce
Watch the video to find out the technique to make a quick and easy beurre blanc sauce (aka white wine butter sauce). Chef Michael Heaps shows how to prepare a delicious beurre blanc and Madeline Puckette tells us about what kinds of white wines to buy to make the best beurre blanc.
Beurre Blanc Ingredients List
- 2 teaspoons minced shallots
- 1-2 oz. (1/4 cup) white wine
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter cut into cubes (one stick)
- 1-2 Tablespoons of heavy cream (so sauce wont ‘break’)
- white pepper
- splash of canola oil (for sauteing shallots)
How to Make Beurre Blanc
Use a small pan at medium high heat. Coat the pan with a little oil and saute the shallots. Gently release the flavors of the shallots in the pan without browning. Next pour in wine (about 1/4 cup) and reduce to just barely wet. Pour in cream and reduce until thick. Pull pan from heat and add pats of butter while whisking or turning the pan. Make sure that the temperature doesn’t get above 130° F as it will cause the butter to separate. If the sauce separates or “breaks” it will lose its thickness from the emulsion. So to control the temperature, pull the pan on and off the heat while whisking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Done!
Selecting a Wine For Beurre Blanc
The key to creating a perfect sauce is having balance of acid, fat and seasoning. A wine with higher acidity won’t require you to use additional lemon juice to reach the balance. Since you can taste the wine in the food, pick a decent wine and pair it with dinner. The beurre blanc recipe calls for 2 ounces, there’s plenty more to enjoy!
When I select a cooking wine, I look for a value wine (wine under $10) such as Côté Est from Catalan in the Langeudoc Rousillon wine region on the France & Spain border. Cote Est is a blend of 50% Grenache Blanc, 30% Chardonnay and 20% Marsanne. The Grenache Blanc adds acidity to the blend, while chardonnay and marsanne add lemon notes and body. The wine is not too complex, however it pairs really nicely with the sauce and tastes great with food.
Other Great Value White Wines for Cooking Beurre Blanc
- Trebbiano from d’Abruzzo, Italy
- Ugni Blanc from Southern France
- Muscadet (Melon de Bourgogne) from the Loire Valley, France
- Chenin blanc (dry style) such as Saumur from the Loire Valley, France
- Albarino from Spain
- Vihno Verde from Portugal
- Vermentino from Sardegna
Don’t cook with something that you won’t drink. We’re going to start out with a very simple sauce called a Beurre Blanc, really what it is, is a white wine and butter sauce. A lot of people think you need a buttery wine to make a buttery sauce. I think it’s a little contrary to that, you might need actually a very high acid wine, because you have the butter already, you’re adding the acid to create the sauce. That sort of balances the acidity, butter and salt. Absolutely. The white wine and butter sauce. Our ingredients are very simple as well. We have chopped shallots, diced butter, wine, salt, white pepper, and a little bit of cream to help stabilize the sauce. Alright, so we’re going to turn our stove on here to medium, medium/high. I like to hit it with just a little bit of oil first. We’re going to go ahead and add our shallots to that. So you have to be careful, you don’t want them to brown at all. Add a little bit of wine. A teaspon or so of shallots and 1-2 ounces of wine. We’re just going to let that simmer and reduce. We’re going to add a little bit of cream. You don’t want a whole lot of cream, otherwise you’re going to turn it from a butter sauce into a cream sauce. And that’s not what we’re going for. So we’re going to reduce that down and cut the heat down. You don’t want it too hot, because once you put the butter in, if it’s too hot, it’s going to break the sauce. And that’s it. What I like about the sauce, when you taste the wine, you can take a wine that has a lot of acidity, or maybe not a lot of fruit flavors and think about what you are pairing it with to make it taste better. Or maybe to pull out different flavors in it.