Theory of Tres B’s continues: Bacon Beurre Blanc…
By Josh Steiner
Welcome back infrequent readers to my hedonistic food blog, benevolently hosted by the people’s press project. Today we’ll draw a blanc, emulsify, get sauced, whisk like zombie Deens and from this; bacon, sherry beurre blanc is born.
Whether serving chicken, fish, or shellfish, you should draw a blanc…
Beurre blanc to be exact, the luxurious butter sauce that pairs so well with poultry, veggie and seafood alike. Classic, French, decadent and delicious, if hunger is the best sauce than this one runs a close second. As the name promises, beurre blanc or white butter is a sauce comprised almost entirely of butter.
Although you find this sauce in seafood restaurants the world over, it is less often found in American residential kitchens. It’s too bad, because not only is beurre blanc delicious, with a little bit of technique it is fairly easy to make. Science does most of the work while you stand there whisking, like brain dead, Paula Deen offspring.
You see readers, butter is an emulsion of water and fat, suspended together waiting to become a sauce or gravy. With the help of the lecithin found in the butter you can reduce a butter sauce to a luscious texture without the aid of a thickening agent such as a roux. Because of this Beurre blanc is not only easy to make it’s flipping delicious, as well. The only thing that could make it more hedonistic would be to make it with…
Bacon, master of and karate and shellfish friendship for everyone…
Everyone knows that bacon goes great with scallops, furthermore, beurre blanc pairs well with seafood. So doesn’t it make sense that bacon’s bold flavors would pair well the delicate, understated beurre blanc? I think so, and since you obviously do too, let me show you how I make it, so you can make it too…
You will need:
1 finely minced shallot 1 cup sherry Juice from one lemon
1 stick of butter sliced by the Tblspn and refrigerated 1 Tblspn bacon fat
3 Tblspns heavy cream Salt 1 tspn black peppercorns
Thyme sprigs 1 Stainless steel sauce pan 1 Strainer
You will do:
Place the shallots in your pan, and add sherry and lemon juice and put over high heat. I know it sounds weird with no fat in the form of oil or butter but it’s actually a French technique called au sec or almost dry. Trust me this will have plenty of butter, whisk until reduced to a glaze consistency. Remove pan from heat and whisk in cream drop heat to low and briefly simmer.
Remove butter from the fridge at this point because the colder our butter is, the better our chance of success with this sauce. Now, we need to keep our sauce hot, but never over 130 degrees or it will break. I’ve heard you can do it over a bain marie (water bath), I’ve also seen people take it off of the heat entirely and stir in the butter.
Although, my favorite method I learned from watching Food TV’s Alton Brown. Add a pat of butter over the low heat whisk it in off of the heat, add another pat of butter over heat and whisk in off of the heat.
Repeat until all butter is incorporated, this will ensure that you never break your 130 degree limit while keeping the sauce warm enough to integrate. Lastly add your bacon fat, salt, peppers, and herbs, whisk together take off of the heat and strain into desired vessel. Serve with chicken, veg, or seafood, now that’s drawing a bbblanc.
Questions or comments contact Josh Steiner @ email@example.com
*Editor’s note Joshua Steiner is a grizzled restaurant industry veteran, photo bungler, butcher of Spanish and English alike and an unassuming recipe hoarder. He is now cleaning house and bringing his tips, tricks, and tentacles to the Peoples Press Project, for you to use how you see fit…
BBB in the PPP…
By Josh Steiner
The theory of 3 B’s…
It’s a brave new world… An amazing time to be witness to, computer technology is rapidly taking us to the time of science fiction. With the advent of amazon.com and smart phones, you can buy anything you want, the world over without leaving your bathtub. But, although this practice is wicked convenient, it is also something I rarely do.
Until recently I never understood why, but I’ve never been comfortable ordering stuff online. Then the other day, a thought suddenly slipped into my head while I attempted some tedious chore; BBBs. Three B’s, or more technically tres B’s, the idea behind tres B’s in Spain is; when contemplating a purchase the desired object must meet the three B criteria. Bueno (good), Bonito (pretty), Borato (cheap) or in other words tres b’s is actually a measure of value…
That readers, is what makes me so hesitant to buy stuff online, it is difficult to put objects you can’t see or touch to the tres B’s test. Essentially a guideline one adheres to in order to avoid buyer’s remorse. Sage advice, indeed and it also applies to food, who doesn’t examine their produce before buying, and I’m sure you factor in cost and quantity as well?
Not now I’m resting…
So in honor of the theory of tres B’s I’m going to share with you a pan sauce that not only follows the guidelines of tres B’s, but shares the same initials. Brandy, Butter, and Bleu sauce is delightfully easy, tasty and redonkulously quick to make, done in less than the amount of time that it takes to rest your steak. You do rest your steak don’t you?
While cooking a steak, the juices concentrate to the center as the cooking constricts the outer muscle because of heat contact. When you rest a steak for as little as five minutes after cooking, these constricted muscle fibers begin to relax and after 10 minutes most of the juices will have redistributed throughout the steak. Which like I said is more than enough time to make our three B pan sauce and will keep your steak and not your cutting board juicy.
You will need:
¼ cup brandy 3 oz’s bleu cheese 3 Tblspns butter 1 pan freshly used to sear steak (ie. drippings)
You will do:
Okay, so you just got done expertly searing a liberally salted, steak, 3-5 minutes a side (depending on size) to a perfect 135 degree medium rare or 155 degree med well. Or perhaps you prefer, shoe leather, well done to 160 degrees if so, you are the person who will benefit the most from this sauce.
Now your steak is resting and you are ready to make the sauce, start by cooling down your steak pan for a minute, then off of the heat pour your brandy over the pan and whisk mightily. This will pull up and liquefy all the little bits of flavor left in the pan. Allow to reduce for about 30 seconds, add the bleu cheese continue to whisk for another 30 seconds. Lastly whisk in the butter one tablespoon at a time and allow flavors to condense (a French technique used to refine sauces called monter au beurre).
After resting your steak pour this tasty three b sauce over your steak and embrace the theory of three B’s. You’ll find that not only does this sauce, include the guidelines of the original three B’s theory but also brings valuable tastes and smells to the three B’s equation. Bueno, Bonito, Borato… Brilliant!
Questions or comments firstname.lastname@example.org
*Joshua Steiner is a restaurant industry veteran and food obsessed paper pusher/email sorter. While waiting for his revised bank password from the Nigerian Prince he’s bringing his tips, tricks and travels to The High Plains Reader and @thepeoplespressproject.org for you to use in YOUR kitchen. Or, wherever…