Sauces and gravies made simple - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Sauces and gravies made simple

Updated: May 31, 2012 02:00 PM EDT
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By Kellie Evans



Beurre manié is one of the best ways to thicken a sauce or a soup, period.

This fancy-sounding mixture—it means kneaded butter in French—is incredibly simple to make and equally easy to use.

Just rub enough flour into softened butter to make a thick paste; then whisk in little bits of the paste to finish a pan sauce for, say, shrimp scampi or a roast turkey, or to enrich a seafood chowder. 

Chicken recipes at Saveur»


As the butter melts, it separates and evenly disperses the flour particles, which swell and thicken the liquid.

The result: a lustrous, velvety texture with nary a clump. Once a technique that was employed by professional and home cooks, unfortunately, this smart kitchen trick is rarely seen anymore. We think it's time to revive it. 


16 easy casseroles at Saveur»



How to Do It:

Simply mix equal parts of softened butter and flour together in a small bowl, and use your fingers or a fork to form a smooth paste.

Then roll teaspoon-size amounts of the paste into balls. (You can also make large amounts of beurre manié in a food processor and store the balls in the freezer, bringing them to room temperature before use.) 

When simmering a sauce, whisk in one ball at a time as needed. Allow the mixture to return to a boil, and cook for at east 1 minute to thicken.

If your sauce is not as thick as you'd like, add a bit more beurre manié. The butter-coated flour particles will melt and quickly thicken the sauce as it simmers, and the additional butter will add a sleek luster, similar to the effect of mounting a sauce with cold butter. 
 

The Saveur 100: Recipes and techniques» 

 

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