Learn the technique for making this classic French white sauce. It's rich and buttery and flavoured with wine to serve with fish or cooked veg
- Serves: 175 persons
- 100ml dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc)
- 50ml white wine vinegar
- 1small shallot , finely chopped
- 200g cold unsalted butter , cut into cubes
Step 1Pour the wine, vinegar and shallots into a saucepan set over a medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid has reduced to about 1-2 tbsp. Strain the mixture into a jug and discard the shallots. Pour 1 tbsp back into the saucepan.
Step 2Put the pan over a low heat and vigorously whisk in the butter, a cube at a time, only adding another cube after the previous addition has melted into the sauce and emulsified. Keep a close eye on the heat – if the sauce starts to look greasy or you can see obvious streaks of butter, remove from the heat and continue whisking, but don’t add any more butter until it looks cohesive again (see tip below).
Step 3Once at least half of the butter has been added, starting whisking in two cubes at a time. The sauce should start to look thick and glossy, and will take on the consistency of double cream. The process will take about 20-25 mins. Season to taste with another splash of the initial reduction and salt and pepper. Serve immediately.