1. Roughly chop the shallot and place into a heated saucepan with the white wine. Add 4-5 black peppercorns. Allow the liquid to reduce to about two-thirds. 00:35
2. After the wine has reduced, add the bay leaf and thyme. Stir them around a bit to help release their oils. 01:48
3. Once the thyme becomes fragrant--after about a minute--remove the thyme, bay leaf, shallot, and black peppercorns. 02:17
4. Add the butter, stirring continuously as it melts and emulsifies with the wine. 02:37
5. Taste the sauce. If the mixture is too acidic from the reduced wine, stir in more butter. Season with salt. 03:35
6. The beurre blanc is almost done when tiny bubbles appear. The sauce should have thickened and reached a nappe consistency. Continue to reduce if it is too loose; add a touch of water if it is too thick. 04:17
7. Once the sauce is done, stir in fresh lemon juice to brighten. 05:23
What You'll Need
- Cutting board
- Large spoon
- White wine (1 cup)
- Shallot (1)
- Black peppercorns (4-5)
- Bay leaf (1)
- Fresh thyme (1 sprig)
- Unsalted butter (2 cups, cold, cubed)
- Salt to taste
- Lemon juice (1/2 teaspoon)
Sauces benefit from layers of flavor. For example, the shallots and black peppercorns add depth and flavor to the white wine base of this beurre blanc.
"Nappe" is a level of thickness that means the sauce will coat the back of a spoon and will hold its shape after running a finger through it.
Beurre blanc pairs well with scallops, fish, or chicken. Add capers to make a piccata sauce for chicken.