The French kitchen is famous all over the world. There is no magic involved, just good ingredients and great cooking techniques, sometimes even rather simple tricks.
Beurre manié (French “kneaded butter” [bur man-yay]) is such an old technique that I would like to share today. It’s dough, used to thicken soups and sauces.
And while it has a fancy name, it’s nothing more than a soft paste made out of equal amounts of softened butter and flour that you stir into the hot dish right before serving.
It is incredibly easy to make. I make a good amount ahead of time and keep it in the freezer at all times. It’s magic, it’s as simple as that.
That’s how you do it:
Mix an equal amount of softened butter and flour together, and use a fork or your fingers to knead it to a smooth dough. Roll the dough out into a long tube. This way you can wrap it easily in saran wrap and keep it in the fridge or freezer; you can also roll them into balls and store them in a tightly-sealed container in the freezer.
Just grab a couple of balls of frozen Beurre manié or cut a slice and add it to your dish and cook it for at least a minute so it can melt and thicken your stir fry, or your sauce.
That’s how it works:
The butter-coated flour particles will melt and quickly thicken the sauce as it simmers, and the additional butter will add a sleek shine -similar to the effect of making a sauce with cold butter, as the flour is not added all at once, which means no lumps will form.
Add additional beurre manié, as needed, until you reach the desired thickness for your dish. No more gravy packages or other nonsense!
Beurre manié is one of the great secrets of traditional French cooking.
Simple magic in the kitchen!
Posted on my kitchen blog: June 2014