Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Beurre Rouge – A red wine butter sauce born during that other French Revolution

Well, it happened again! I get an email asking for a red wine sauce. I reply please check the site, I’ve already posted one. They reply, oh no you didn’t. I check site and realize…oops, I never posted this clip. Excusez-moi. As usual, the standard “this is an old clip” disclaimer applies.

We all learned about the French Revolution in school. You remember, “let them eat cake,” and all that stuff. Anyway, there was another French Revolution that started in the 70’s and it had to do with French Cuisine. It was called “Nouvelle” cuisine which is simply French for "new cuisine." This style was a reaction to the classic “Haute” cuisine (meaning "high cooking"). It focused on lighter and more delicate dishes, without heavy flour-based sauces. One of the darlings of this new style was a simple butter sauce called a “beurre blanc” which was a reduction of white wine and vinegar, finished with whole butter. These lighter sauces became all the rage.

The version I’m showing today is the red wine version of the classic beurre blanc. I usually force you to get the procedure by watching the clip (multiple times, I suspect), but just this one time I’ll give you a brief procedure below, so the sauce doesn’t “break” or separate.

A couple of nice steaks
1 minced shallot
1/2 stick butter (2oz)1/4 cup wine vinegar
1/2 cup red wine
salt and pepper to taste

1. Remove steaks from pan and turn off heat.
2. Add shallots with 2 tsp of the butter.
3. On low heat, sauté shallots until lightly browned.
4. Deglaze with vinegar, cook until almost evaporated.
5. Add wine and cook on med-high heat until reduced by half.
6. Turn off heat and whisk in butter, adjust for salt and pepper.


Anonymous said...

Hey There Chef John, I'm going to make this tonight. It looks like, although hard to tell, like you have whole peppercorns on the steak, is that so? And, thickness, about 3/4 inch? Cheers!

Chef John said...

no they were just freshly course ground peppercorns. YEs,they were boneless rib-eyes about 3/4 to 1 inch thick.

Anonymous said...

whoa, just back from my local butcher, those rib eyes are $20 a pound, too pricey for a mid-week meal - will wait on a special occasion for that, went with a NY sirloin instead. Any ways. it's not so much the meat I'm interested in as it is the beurre rouge.

Chef John said...

those will work great. Enjoy! make sure you get a nice "fond" going and the shallots get browned so the sauce had that deep rich color.

Anonymous said...

that steak looks amazing. i want it. can you send me one?

Anonymous said...

How do you decide what you are going to cook? Also! How do you decide what you are going to show us on here? Do you do a "pull it from a hat" method? Or do you sit in a room and think "Gee, John. What do you want to make today?"

Chef John said...

Google "chaos theory" and that pretty much explains up my methods.
I just go to the store and buy what looks good and cook it and film as much as I can afford, and that it. It's completely random....or is it?

Anonymous said...

This is the kind of dish that separates the professional chef from the dedicated home cook. I got my pan up to medium hot and it WAS hot, the steak was overcooked but I did recover from my mistake and got the sauce right, used Red Wine Vinegar instead of Tarragon.

Chef John said...

Forget the steak, its all about the sauce! You'll get the steak perfect next time. Oldtime kitchen wisdom: a great sauce can save a bad steak, but never the other way around.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to turn the heat off before adding the butter. Big mistake! Can't wait to try again though and get it right.

Chef John said...

lol, sure the one time I actually include the steps.... ;)

Anonymous said...

John, next i'll follow the recipe, i even had my laptop next to me playing the videon on repeat, it all went down to hell when the girldfriend tried to "help"!

Chef Wendell said...

this is a great recipe!!!
making it tonight... can't wait :D

Babette said...

Have steaks in the fridge for tomorrow. Gonna serve 'my' new cauliflower recipe with this tomorrow! I'm so flippin' excited to have discovered your blog! Thanks so much! xox Babs

charlie_g68 said...

oh man this looks soooooooo gooood!

eytzni said...

Dear Chef John,

Is there a substitute for the butter?
I'm sensitive to dairy food :(

I just discovered your blog and its awesome, Thank You

Chef John said...

Sorry, only works with real butter.

DjiBy said...

Hi Chef John,

First of all, I'm a student learning cooking in my past times and your blog is just wonderful. It's my first post but I tried 12 of the other recipes. From the quick cassoulet to the Beurre Rouge :) The beurre Rouge was definitly a wonderful sauce. I had a rest of Marsela Wine from Checiken Marsela, still did wonderful, if you got a good Marsela. Anyway, I had a real question here:

When you mention 1/2 stick of butter, I found out it was plenty of butter. I added only about 3/4 since I suppose, the goal is to get thickness in the sauce right?

Thank you very much and keep the recipes coming! We love it

Chef John said...

Yes, you did correctly! Thanks!

Billy said...

The warning about not adding cream is purely aesthetic, right? What difference would it make on the flavor?