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zoze
12-02-2013, 06:18 AM
Though I use butter as a thickening agent in rather smaller amounts of liquid – be it soup or sauce- I was hesitant when finishing a pot of sauce for roast goose and ended up also adding some starch for thickening. As goose already provides lots of fat this might not be a good example for a butter-finished sauce. But I hope you’ll get the point: Do you use butter as exclusiv thickener in larger quantities of liquid or is it always a combo with other thickeners? What are the limitations of it's use?
Like to hear of your experiences or your rules of thumb.

Thanks
Jürgen

knyfeknerd
12-02-2013, 08:06 AM
I also only use butter with small amounts of sauce-a la minute. It's excellent when it emulsifies with the liquid, but heat and water content of the sauce determine how well and how long the bond will hold. The fat(or butter in this case) must have something to adhere to or you've got an ugly broken sauce.

NO ChoP!
12-02-2013, 09:53 AM
When doing larger amounts it helps if you mount the butter by itself first, than add it to the liquid. Butter mounted sauces work best with well reduced liquid.

boomchakabowwow
12-02-2013, 10:48 AM
i might mount a pan sauce with some butter.

but i dont think my sauces thicken much. they get richer, and have more mouth feel..but not so much thicker by the traditional definition.

i'm no pro cook tho.

TheDispossessed
12-02-2013, 01:09 PM
yeah, butter a la minute to tighten a glaze or emulsify, will not thicken though. kudzu is great for that, if you don't mind the starch

NO ChoP!
12-02-2013, 01:18 PM
A buerred sauce will be mostly mounted butter, so actually, adding buerre monte to a reduction, such as wine for example, will actually make the reduction the thickness of the mounted butter; hence thickening it, in a sense. Really just changing a liquid or syrup into a rich, velvety texture, as noted.

TheDispossessed
12-02-2013, 01:27 PM
this brings to mind a family meal experience where my fellow cooks and i went whole hog on putting butter in everything we made to which my sous chef screamed, "Butter is not the answer!"

NO ChoP!
12-02-2013, 01:31 PM
If you're from Wisconsin it is....

That and beer...

Really anything bad for you.

Zwiefel
12-02-2013, 02:26 PM
I'm not familiar with the use of the word, "mount" in this thread. Can someone explain?

boomchakabowwow
12-02-2013, 03:41 PM
A buerred sauce will be mostly mounted butter,.

Z..i think the sauce NC is talking about..is Buerre monte or something. something french.

i think the monte translated to "mount" in english..and it means to whisk a pat of butter into a sauce.

my friend's mom is a retire pro chef..and she likes to dazzle me with explanations. bums her out her son cant cook, so she talks to me, and teaches me things. i seem to remember her trying to explain it to me..

shaneg
12-02-2013, 04:13 PM
my friend's mom is a retire pro chef..and she likes to dazzle me with explanations. bums her out her son cant cook, so she talks to me, and teaches me things. i seem to remember her trying to explain it to me..

An old school chef where they actually knew a lot about everything and before the days of becoming a head chef 3 years after finishing school.. *cough* me *cough*

My first exec chef was like that, a C.I.A trained chef who had at least 30 ring binders of recipes in his office, he said "I can't teach you to be a specialist in anything, but I can teach you a bit about everything" back when I dreamed of being a saucier.. Haha.

Anyway you should pick up a copy of La Rousse Gastronomique, they have all the beurre sauces, I don't cook French anymore, which is pretty much where butter in everything originates from.
As said above ive only used it by itself to finish a sauce last minute and off the heat.
You could try a beurre marnie 1:1 melted butter to flour, you can roll it in cling film in a cylinder it refrigerate it, then cut it into tablespoon discs as needed. This is obviously the predecessor to the roux, just remember its uncooked flour so will need to be added with enough time to be simmered for a bit.

zoze
12-03-2013, 06:17 AM
Thanks for your answers, everyone. Much appreciated.

CoqaVin
12-03-2013, 01:21 PM
I am a beurre manie maniac I live and stand by that

Mrmnms
12-03-2013, 01:38 PM
Beurre Monte is emulsified butter, added to a pan sauce. Classic French Beurre Blanc with white wine reduction or Rouge for red wine reduction. Where the term mounted comes from... at least in the kitchen

CoqaVin
12-03-2013, 02:05 PM
Beurre Monte is emulsified butter, added to a pan sauce. Classic French Beurre Blanc with white wine reduction or Rouge for red wine reduction. Where the term mounted comes from... at least in the kitchen


remember to keep the sauces hot or do them a la minute so they don't break

JDA_NC
12-03-2013, 02:09 PM
I'm not familiar with the use of the word, "mount" in this thread. Can someone explain?

To expand on what was already explained - mounting a sauce is just slowly whisking pats of (cold) butter into a hot liquid, keeping it emulsified and making the sauce richer.

Buerre Monte is one of the most basic examples of this. It's just water + butter emulsified. So you take a pot of water, bring it to a boil, and then reduce your heat and start to whisk in your butter. And because butter is not the most stable binder - the idea is you slowly add in your butter, a few pads at a time, waiting until what you've added is melted before adding more. The ratio of butter:water all depends on what you're trying to achieve. You can use it for whatever but mostly you see it for cooking veg like green beans and asparagus, or shellfish like lobster or crab. Or if you really want to ball out you can rest whatever proteins you're cooking in a pool of it.

But like the OP was talking about, mounting butter into something is usually done at the last minute and for smaller sauces because it has a tendency to break when you apply high heat or re-heat.

If you take gumbo for example, you would never ever thicken your gumbo by adding a huge amount of plain butter. A) it's no cost effective b) it wouldn't taste right, and c) every time you went to re-heat that gumbo, you run the very strong risk of having the soup break on you

Zwiefel
12-03-2013, 06:11 PM
OK, I was familiar with this technique (used it a few times some years ago) but not the terminology. Thanks guys!

jgraeff
12-18-2013, 10:16 AM
A little of topic here but I worked at a very French Classic place and I literally made about 100 butter sauces a night.

The best technique I've found for both finishing a pan sauce and making a Beurre blanc or flavored butter sauce is to reduce your liquid and add all butter at once. The butter will slowly melt and also allow for liquid to reduce further while emulsifying.

Not only is this faster it comes out thick IMO. If you ever notice your sauce starting to split just add a tad of water, if it split after all butter has been added, add water and then some more butter and it will come back.

As far as a thickener I don't think it's really the right ingredient.