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Old 01-21-2007, 07:27 PM   #1
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Meuniere Sauce problems

Hello, this is my first post so go easy on me.

I was trying to make a meuniere sauce from the Galotoire's Cookbook. The recipe call for browning butter slowly then whisking in lemon juice and red wine vinegar. I found that the butter never mixed with the vinegar and the vinegar absorbed all the color from the butter. The vinegar, though flavorful, sank to the bottom of the pan and was difficult to ladle onto the trout.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Old 01-21-2007, 07:50 PM   #2
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muniere is finished off the heat. i'm guessing that you let it boil after adding the butter, which would make it separate.

let's say you're doing sole. after sauteing, remove the sole to a warm plate. if you have a lot of oil in the pan, pour off the excess. quickly deglaze the pan with the lemon juice (and in this case vinegar also). let the juices in the pan reduce to perhaps a tablespoon or so. turn off the heat. add the butter and swirl it around the pan. everything in the pan should homogenize. return the sole to the pan to coat with the sauce.

the best oil to use for sauteing is butter, which will brown and gives a proper muniere it's distinctive nutty flavor.
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let me make sure that wine's ok before i use it.
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:49 PM   #3
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Philso's advice is correct. Basically you're trying to make an emulsion and there are rules involved. An emulsion is the harmonizing of two or more liquids with different particle compositions (i.e. oil and fat). To properly emulsify something, you usually need to add a liaison or change the composition of one of the liquids. What philso is describing is a method which helps keep an emulsion from breaking by changing the composition of the acid through reduction. You basically make it easier for the particles in both the acid and the fat to hold on and mesh with one another creating a much more stable emulsion.

In order to keep an emulsion from breaking, the rule of time and temperature needs to be followed. Emulsions will break when exposed to extreme heat and cold. They will also break if left for extended period of time. If you did not remove the sauce pan from them heat while trying to emulsify the butter into the acid it would have increased the chances of your sauce breaking.

The last thing is the method being used. Normally, the fat is added to the acid to make an emulsion, beit a vinaigrette, beurre blanc, hollandaise, etc. The recipe you described looks like it called for you to do the opposite. That also was a contributing factor in your sauce not holding.
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:10 PM   #4
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Thanks you for the advice. I will give this a try next time.

Philso: You refer to a warm plate. Are you talking about a device like a "hot plate" or just a warmed plate, maybe a plate in the oven? I would like to keep my equipment as basic as possible.
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongWing
Thanks you for the advice. I will give this a try next time.

Philso: You refer to a warm plate. Are you talking about a device like a "hot plate" or just a warmed plate, maybe a plate in the oven? I would like to keep my equipment as basic as possible.
no, not a hot plate. just a warmed plate or in the oven. just to keep it from getting cold. if it's cooked perfectly, you don't want it to continue cooking. usually, the whole process would only take a minute or so, so a plate near the back burner is fine, and you don't have to waste time getting things into and out of the oven.

exactly the same process is used for lots of sauces finished in the pan after sauteing. if you've sauteed a steak or filet, you could use red wine or brandy. various liqueurs work well for chicken or pork tenderloin. remove the meat, add a shot or two of whatever, reduce it to a tablespoon or so, turn off the heat and through in a good knob of butter, swirling it around the pan. finished, with the possible excepton of correcting the seasoning, adding parsely, etc.

if you are using garlic, fresh rosemary, etc., saute it after taking out the meat, then deglaze, etc.
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