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The Secret Butter Sauce That You Need to Try
Sauces, in general, level up the taste of food. In some cases where it’s served separately from the dish, the very act of putting the sauce on any cuisine is a performance or ritual that adds drama to the dining experience, and we’re here for it. French cuisine is known for its sauces. The French have mastered the art of making some of the world’s beloved sauces such as Béchamel, Béarnaise, Béarnaise, Beurre Blanc, Espagnole, Hollandaise, Tomate and the list goes on.
Butter sauce, in particular, is like fireworks dazzling around the tongue and palate once it hits your mouth. Any kind of food that complements with butter sauce– steak, pasta, fish (or every food on a French menu) is electrifying and addicting. It’s rich, mouthwatering, creamy and tasteful.
Need we say more?
It’s not surprising that France invented the word ‘sauce’. For the French, it is simply to moisten their food with flavoured liquid. But did you know that French sauces were influenced by Roman and Mediterranean practices? According to some sources, the Romans used sauces to disguise the taste of food from diners who single out the flavours of the food on their plate, especially the spices.
Technically, every sauce we’ve mentioned earlier has butter as one of its ingredients. Notably, Hollandaise– meaning Holland-style, use butter and egg yolks (talk about saturated fats). But this sauce is originally called Sauce Isigny, which was derived from Isigny-sur-Mer, a town in Normandy which is known for butter.
What’s in a butter sauce?
There are many variations of butter sauces, but the closest to its French origin is Beurre Blanc or white butter. Beurre Blanc is made of butter, white wine, white wine vinegar and shallots. French chef and restaurateur Clémence Lefeuvre invented this popular butter sauce by accident sometime around the early 20th century while cooking for a prominent family in the Loire Valley wine region near the city of Nantes in France.
Herbs and spice heightens the flavour of Beurre Blanc. Lemon juice can also be an alternative ingredient to vinegar. There are other derivatives of Beurre Blanc such as the Beurre rouge, which replaces white wine and white wine vinegar with red wine and red wine vinegar. Beurre monté and beurre noir generally refers to the method or technique of melting the butter. The best food combination with butter sauce are pasta, grilled pork chops, lamb chops or salmon, steamed vegetable garnish, scallops, baked chicken and shellfish like shrimp, lobster and crab.
Make your own homemade butter sauce
We’re French inspired, make your own butter sauce at home with this simple recipe to elevate your fish, chicken or vegetable dish.
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
- ¼ cup (60 ml) white wine
- ¼ cup (60 ml) white wine vinegar
- ½ small (15 g) shallot
- ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy whipping cream (optional)
- 1 cup (225 g) butter, about 2 sticks, cold
- Prepare your equipment: knife, chopping board, saucepan, whisk.
- Chop the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces then place it in the freezer.
- Chop the shallots.
- In the saucepan over high heat, mix the wine, vinegar and chopped shallots.
- Cook for about 5 minutes until the wine-vinegar base is reduced to 1 tablespoon of liquid. If you’re adding heavy cream, make sure that it is reduced until the mixture coats the back of the spoon. Remove the pan from the stove.
- Add the cold butter into the wine-vinegar liquid and whisk.
- Return the saucepan to the stove on low heat. Continue whisking until the butter melts. Keep the temperature at 110-130 degrees F/ 43-54 C.
- When all the butter has been mixed in, remove the saucepan from heat. The butter sauce should be creamy and pale yellow.
- It is ready for serving! Enjoy your homemade butter sauce.
If you’re on a hunt for a genuinely good French butter sauce brand, Entrecôte is the name. Entrecôte serves classic French dishes as well as homemade seasonings, sauces and chutneys. You can find their products online at , Co-Lab Pantry (we have it all for you!).
Co-Lab Pantry is an Australian online food and beverage retailer based in Melbourne. With over 150 of the best local restaurants, cafes and grocers as partners, we deliver ready-made meals, cocktails, pantry goods and produce to people’s homes across the nation.