When I first came across a dish with beurre blanc sauce, I remembered feeling a little excited. It was at a seafood restaurant that specialized in upscale dining, and I was just a teenager back then. Having taken French, I knew that “beurre” means butter, and “blanc,” means white. The item that the sauce was being served with was salmon—all the better!
I was immediately hooked on it, and was desperate to find out how to make my own. Today, I’ve got my own recipe I use, but what shocks me ore is that most people in the United States haven’t experienced the joys of serving a dish with this creamy, tart, and savory sauce. If you haven’t tried this classic French sauce, or don’t know what to serve it with, don’t worry, I got your back.
What Is Beurre Blanc?
Beurre blanc is a creamy, tangy, and slightly sour sauce that is known for its decadent texture. If you’re a fan of Hollandaise sauce, you’ll find this to be a very similar treat. It’s typically used to enhance the citrusy flavors of seafood or to add a little twist to certain vegetables.
Before You Start: Getting Your Ingredients
As the name suggests, butter is at the heart of a good beurre. But, you’re going to need a lot more than just butter to make this sauce correctly. Before you head to your kitchen, drop by your grocery store and get these ingredients:
- 2 Sticks of Butter. Salted is best. To prep these, cut the sticks of butter into tiny cubes.
- 1/4 Cup Dry White Wine. I suggest using a Zinfandel.
- 1/4 Cup White Wine Vinegar. Any brand works well here.
- 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt. If you can’t find fleur de sel or sea salt, table salt works.
- 1/3 Cup Heavy Cream. This is a must; no typical substitutes can be used.
- 1 Fresh Shallot. Chop this finely.
- 1 Fresh Lemon. This is optional. To prep it for use, chop it in half.
How to Make a Beurre Blanc Sauce
Now that you have all the ingredients, it’s time to make your butter sauce. You should expect it to be made in about 20 minutes, give or take. Here’s how to do it:
- Grab your shallots, vinegar, and wine, and place them all in a pot. Get the heat turned up and bring it to a boil. Ideally, the consistency of your sauce will feel slightly syrupy. This should take around five minutes once the mixture hits boiling temperature.
- Add the heavy cream and grab the salt. Continue to boil it for another minute. Stir in your salt, and add a dash of pepper if you choose.
- Slowly introduce the butter into the mixture, by stirring in cube after cube. Add cubes gradually, stirring constantly. Only add butter cubes after the remainder of the butter has melted completely. If the mixture gets too hot, lift the pot off the stove for a short time to cool it down.
- Once the butter is stirred in, add extra salt and pepper to taste. If you like the flavor already, there’s no need to add more. If you decided to add lemon, take half of the lemon then squeeze its juice into the sauce. After that, stir it gently.
- Grab a sieve and a bowl, then put the beurre blanc through the sieve. The sieve filters out the shallots, which leaves that creamy sauce in the bowl, ready to serve.
What Can You Serve With This Sauce?
Hoo boy, I’m glad you asked! While beurre blanc is most famous as a companion to roasted salmon, there are quite a few other options you can try out if you’re feeling adventurous. Some of my bigger picks to use along with this sauce include the following:
- Roasted Asparagus
- Roast Turkey
Generally speaking, my rule of thumb is to use this sauce with any dish that can pair well with a full-bodied white wine. Think of it like a citrusy gravy, and you’ll understand why I’m saying this. To serve, you can either top the dish in question with it, or you can serve it separately in a gravy train.
When Is a Good Time for This Sauce?
Beurre blanc is one of those sauces that takes a while to make, which means that most people aren’t going to be too cool with making it on a typical weeknight. It’s also a little too heavy for most hot weather dishes. That said, this buttery sauce is wonderful as an addition to a date night meal during the winter months or for a summer seafood dish. As long as you prep yourself for the decadence that comes with this dish, you should be good to go.
What Wines Pair Well With Beurre Blanc?
Ooh! Good question! The best wine to pair with this butter sauce is the wine that you used to make it. In lieu of that, any robust dry wine tends to work well with this sauce. So, Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Blanc are all good choices. Want to jazz it up? Dry sparkling wines also can pair remarkably well with this, as do sparkling blush wines.
When working with beurre blanc, I strongly suggest avoiding reds unless their very light-bodied. Reds are just too bold.