Chef school tip: Beurre manié

Beurre_manié on – Creative Commons via Cookipedia)

The Kitchen dictionary gives the following definition:

Beurre manié (French “kneaded butter”) is a dough, consisting of equal parts of soft butter and flour, used to thicken soups and sauces. By kneading the flour and butter together, the flour particles are coated in butter. When the beurre manié is whisked into a hot or warm liquid, the butter melts, releasing the flour particles without creating lumps. Beurre manié should not be confused with roux, which is also a thickener made of equal parts of butter and flour, but which is cooked before use. Because Beurre manié contains uncooked flour, liquids thickened using Beurre manié dough may have an undesirable floury or pasty taste due to the uncooked proteins in the flour.

This has got to be one of the most useful thing we learned at Chef School. Never mind scrounging around for some corn flour to thicken that sauce that simply refuses to thicken and ending up with lumps of unappealing corn starch exploding in your mouth along with your (not quite thickened enough) sauce…

Beurre manié serves the dual purpose of thickening as well as making your sauce nice and glossy at the same time! An easy way to blend it in is to grate it into your dish. Come autumn when I will be cooking more dishes requiring thickening this is going to be a staple of my freezer.

5 thoughts on “Chef school tip: Beurre manié”

  1. I must admit, this also resulted in one of my little "Thanks Chef Kylie" moments, up at Camp Scugog in May.

    (For those not in the know, it's a charity camp our Rotary Club goes to the same weekend every May to repair and fix up for the season.)

    As a newly-invited member of the chef crew for the weekend, I was more than a tad nervous being paired with an Escoffier-credited chef, in the kitchen with a 20-year patry chef, among others – and all led by the general manager of the National Club (also a chef).

    So when Day One chef turned to me and said: "Can you get a beure manie" I had a wry smile that I did not have to ask what in blazes he was talking about.

    OH — and I needed to use one on the coq au vin next day! 🙂

  2. i am totally going to make this come fall when it's soup/stew season once again. i love the idea of keeping it in the freezer so you can grate it into your pot when you need it. thanks for the tip! 🙂

  3. Great tip. Keep sharing the chef school tips…
    … and, of course, the excellent food pics and photos of Cleo eating Neil's food. Your Michigan readers (and children) quite enjoy these.

  4. Steve, I am SURE there will be more such pics.

    Though with mardi off to Oz, there will be no one to document the lavish-ness of Mistress Cleo at my dinner plate…


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