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Poached hake with beurre blanc recipe

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  • Seafood
  • Fish
  • Poached fish

This is a family recipe. There was always a bottle of Muscadet to go with it!

6 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 500g hake
  • 750g of potatoes, unpeeled (try Maris Piper, Charlotte or Desiree)
  • 4 shallots, minced
  • 300ml red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 200g salted butter, cubed
  • A few sprigs of flat leaf parsley

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:50min

  1. In a large saucepan, bring salted water to the boil and add the bouquet garni. Add the hake and cook for approximately 20 minutes. Cook longer if the hake is large. The hake is cooked if the area near the bone is no longer pink. Remove from heat if you see flakes of fish in the saucepan.
  2. Meanwhile, bring salted water to the boil in a medium saucepan and cook the potatoes for 20 minutes or until cooked.
  3. Meanwhile, add shallots and vinegar to a small saucepan, season with salt and pepper. Cook on a low heat until the vinegar has evaporated. Gradually add butter and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until smooth. Remove from heat.
  4. Drain the hake and potatoes. Remove skin and bones from hake and peel the potatoes.
  5. Pour the sauce onto the hake. (I personally like shallots so I keep them in the sauce but the real beurre blanc does not have shallots. You will need to strain the sauce.) Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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Beurre Blanc Sauce

Beurre blanc is a simple butter-based emulsified sauce that's great with fish or seafood. When compared to mother sauces such as velouté, which has been around since at least the 1600s, beurre blanc is a relative newcomer (and not a culinary mother sauce). It originated in the 1890s in Nantes, a city in western France close to the Atlantic coast and was originally called beurre Nantes.

According to the legend, a chef named Clémence Lefeuvre (or in some tellings, her assistant) was making béarnaise sauce but forgot to add the egg yolks. Historical anecdotes aside, sometimes folks confuse these two sauces. Béarnaise uses liquid clarified butter, and it is important to keep it warm. With beurre blanc, on the other hand, you use whole butter, and it's important to keep it as cold as possible.

Beurre blanc tastes velvety and rich thanks to butter, but it's also slightly sweet and tangy as well. It pairs beautifully with fish and seafood. Good wines for the reduction include Chablis, sauvignon blanc or chardonnay, but any drinkable dry white will do.

Click Play to See This Buttery Beurre Blanc Sauce Recipe Come Together

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the lemon juice, wine, and shallots to a boil. Continue boiling the mixture for 3 to 5 minutes, until it reduces and thickens slightly.

Add the crème fraîche and boil for an additional 2 minutes.

Lower the heat to medium-low. Add the butter, 1 cube at a time, and whisk, allowing each piece to fully melt before adding the next one.

When the last of the butter has just melted, remove the pan from the heat and strain out the shallots if desired.

Season the beurre blanc sauce with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

  • If you need to make the sauce ahead of time, keep it warm over very low heat, whisking every so often to keep the emulsion intact.
  • Make sure to lower the heat before adding and whisking in the butter if the heat is too high, the butter will melt too quickly, and the sauce will not thicken properly.
  • For added flavor and color, sprinkle capers atop the finished dish.

Why Did My Beurre Blanc Break and Can I Fix It?

If your beurre blanc splits, it could be that your butter was not cold enough and was not added one piece at a time, or maybe the heat was a little too high. If your burner tends to run hot, you might have to move the pan off and on the heat so that the butter melts but doesn't overheat. If your beurre blanc does break, you might be able to fix it. Put a tablespoon of ice-cold water in a clean bowl. Slowly pour in the broken sauce while whisking briskly. Or try whisking ice chips into the sauce until the emulsification returns.

This article goes into detail, with fixes for other kinds of common cooking problems:

Can You Reheat Leftover Chilled Beurre Blanc?

Beurre blanc is best served immediately. The sauce may be made up to 2 hours in advance and kept warm (not hot) in an insulated container or thermos, or you may keep it in the covered saucepan and place it in a warm oven (around 170 F). If the sauce is not served right away, it will thicken somewhat and may need to be thinned with a liquid. If you've refrigerated leftover beurre blanc, it doesn't have to go to waste. The reheated sauce will still be flavorful and delicious when spooned over seafood, chicken, or steamed vegetables.

What's the Difference Between Beurre Blanc and Hollandaise?

Although both are yellow-colored French sauces, beurre blanc and hollandaise are different from each other and used to dress different foods. Whereas the main ingredient in beurre blanc is butter, hollandaise is known for including raw egg yolks, which are whisked along with lemon juice in a double boiler melted butter is slowly added in until the mixture is thick. Hollandaise is the quintessential sauce for the brunch-favorite eggs Benedict, while beurre blanc makes its presence on the dinner table.

What Is a Medium Shallot?

Shallots come in various sizes, from very small to very large. In general, a medium shallot will yield about 1/4 cup chopped.

Halibut with Beurre Blanc Sauce

Featured by Cache Creek Vineyards and Winery in the Gold Wine Club.


This heavenly Beurre Blanc sauce pairs beautifully with Cache Creek Vineyards 2016 Sauvignon Blanc or 2015 Chardonnay from your recent Gold Wine Club shipment.

Yield: 8
Prep Time: 12 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes
Serving Size: 1 Filet


• ½ c. dry white wine (Cache Creek Sauvignon Blanc is perfect!)
• ½ c. white wine vinegar
• 4 T. finely chopped shallots
• 2/3 c. heavy cream
• ½ t. salt
• 1/8 t. white pepper, or to taste
• 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-sized pieces and chilled
• 8 pieces halibut
• parsley, minced for garnish

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Sauce: Boil wine, vinegar, and shallots in a 2-3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until liquid is syrupy and reduced to 2-3 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Add cream, salt, white pepper and boil 1 min. Reduce heat to moderately low and add a few Tbs. butter, whisking constantly. Add remaining butter a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly and adding new pieces before previous ones have completely liquefied (the sauce should maintain consistency of Hollandaise), lifting pan from heat occasionally to cool mixture. Remove from heat, then season to taste with salt and pepper and pour sauce through a medium-mesh sieve into a sauceboat, pressing on and then discarding shallot.

Fish: Season fish with salt and sauté in a little olive oil or butter. Turn it once, let the other side color, and serve it immediately with beurre blanc and garnish with minced parsley.

Recipe provided by Cache Creek Vineyards.

Listed below is an array of superb, medal-winning wines from our six exceptional Wine Clubs. Since 1992, we have been including recipes in our Gold Wine Club shipments for our members to enjoy with their selected wines. Take a look below and discover the perfect wine pairing for the recipe featured above!

Butter-Poached Shrimp with Beurre Blanc

Beurre Blanc:
1 pound Cabot Unsalted Butter, cut into small dice, divided
2 shallots, minced
1 cup white wine
½ cup white wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
7 whole black peppercorns
Salt and ground black pepper to taste


To Cook Shrimp:

BRING water to boil in a 2-quart stainless or other nonreactive pot over high heat a third at a time, whisk in diced butter until emulsified.

ADD thyme, reduce heat to medium and heat butter mixture to between 160 and 180°F.
Six at a time (3 batches), add shrimp to butter mixture and poach until just opaque in center, about 8 minutes.

To Make Beurre Blanc and Finish Dish:

MELT about 1 tablespoon of diced butter, in 2-quart stainless or other nonreactive saucepan add shallots and cook, stirring, until tender and translucent but not browned.

ADD wine, vinegar, bay leaf, thyme and peppercorns simmer until liquid is nearly all evaporated.

ADD remaining diced butter, a small amount at a time, whisking until completely combined and emulsified each time. Immediately strain sauce into bowl and season with salt and pepper.

ARRANGE 3 shrimp on each plate and spoon beurre blanc on top.
This pairs nicely with Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay.

The Chef

Charlie Palmer

The nationally acclaimed Palmer grew up on a farm in upstate New York and runs restaurants around the country. He opened Dry Creek Kitchen in the boutique Hotel Healdsburg in 2001, which kicked off a culinary renaissance throughout the wine country town. In addition to highlighting the best locally inspired fare, the restaurant offers more than 500 selections of Sonoma County wines, the largest collection of its kind in the world.

  • 4 quarts fish stock
  • 4 bay leaves
  • ½ bunch thyme
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 11 sprigs and 1 bunch parsley, plus more,
  • for garnish
  • 4 6-ounce halibut fillets
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced, plus more, to taste
  • 6 ⅓ ounces sparkling wine
  • ½ cup cold butter, diced
  • ⅛ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 ounce caviar, preferably American Hackleback sturgeon
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • Salt-roasted baby beets, for serving (recipe and directions below)

In deep sauté pan, combine fish stock, bay leaves, thyme, coriander and 6 sprigs parsley over medium heat. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and return liquid to pan.

Season halibut with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add to pan and poach until cooked through, 6–7 minutes. Carefully remove halibut with fish spatula.

To make beurre blanc, chop leaves from 5 sprigs parsley. Combine bare stems in pot with wine.

Cook over medium heat until reduced by half. Reduce heat to very low simmer, discard parsley stems and add butter slowly. Stir quickly until butter incorporates and sauce is creamy. Season with sugar, salt, pepper and lemon juice, to taste. Gently fold in chopped parsley leaves and caviar.

Place olive oil and leaves from remaining parsley bunch in blender. Purée until bright green. Strain through fine-mesh strainer or coffee filter.

Spoon beurre blanc onto plate and top with halibut. Arrange beets around fish. Garnish with parsley oil and additional parsley leaves. Serves 4.

Heat oven to 350˚F. Trim tops of beets, and wash with warm water. On baking sheet, spread rock sea salt to cover bottom of pan. Place beets on salt, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake until soft, approximately 40–45 minutes. (Check with cake tester.) Cool beets for 10 minutes. While still warm, peel beets with soft towel. Slice in half.

Iron Horse 2014 Wedding Cuvée Estate Bottled Sparkling Wine (Green Valley), $45. A blend of 72% Pinot Noir and 28% Chardonnay, this is a stunning vintage of the perennially impressive sparkler. Nutty and earthy, it sings in strawberry, wet stone and rose petal. The palate offers a lively mousse and persistent acidity, which makes it a vibrant complement to the tangy beurre blanc.

The Easiest Way to Cook Salmon? Pour a Glass of Wine

A perfectly cooked piece of fish is a thing of beauty, but nailing it can be tricky. That&aposs why I&aposm a big fan of shallow poaching, a forgiving and foolproof technique that yields perfectly cooked fillets every time. The method, which involves briefly tenting the fish under a simple circle of parchment paper called a cartouche, is easy enough for first-timers to master yet versatile enough to spark inspiration for more experienced cooks.

To begin, sauté any allium that speaks to you. (I use leeks here, but shallots or spring onions would also be lovely.) Then, add the fish𠅊ny mild fillet or steak will do. (King salmon is a showstopper cod, grouper, rockfish, and flounder work beautifully, too.) Next, tip in a generous splash of wine. Finally, top it all with a cartouche with a hole snipped in the center to create a vent. The cartouche drapes over the fish, forming a makeshift lid that allows for carefully controlled evaporation. During a brief stint in the oven, aromatic steam circulates around the fillets as the wine gently reduces, resulting in gorgeously cooked fish.

As a bonus, all of that flavorful cooking liquid becomes a luxurious pan sauce. Enriched with a little butter and some sweet cherry tomatoes, dinner is deliciously𠅊nd perfectly𠅍one.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 medium shallots, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup white-wine or Champagne vinegar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs, such as tarragon, basil, parsley, and chives

In small saucepan, combine shallots, wine, and vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 10 minutes.

Turn down heat to lowest possible flame. Whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, adding a piece as previous one melts. Don't allow sauce to become too hot. For a more smooth sauce, strain through a fine sieve, if desired.

Season with salt and pepper and keep over a bain-marie. Just before serving, stir in herbs.

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Lay the fish fillets skinned side up on a cutting board. Slice each fillet in half lengthwise to make 12 strips. In a small bowl mix the ginger, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over all the fish and then sprinkle with 2 Tbs. of the chopped mint. Roll each strip into a coil, starting with the fatter end and aligning the roll along the cut edge. Secure with a toothpick, pushing it into the thin end and through the other side.

Sprinkle the shallots over the bottom of a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan. Arrange the fish coils cut edge down in the pan. Pour in the wine and 1/3 cup water. Turn the heat to medium high and bring the liquid to a simmer. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, cover, and poach the fish until cooked through, 4 to 8 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the fish to a warm plate. Tent with foil while finishing the sauce.

Increase the heat to high and boil the liquid until it’s reduced to about 3 Tbs. (It should just barely cover the bottom of the pan.) Add the cream and boil for 30 seconds. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in 2 slices of the cold butter, the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. mint, and the chives. When the butter is almost melted, add another slice and whisk until mostly melted. Repeat with the remaining butter, 1 slice at a time. (Take care not to overheat the sauce or it will separate.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove the toothpicks from each piece of fish. Serve the fish (3 pieces per serving) drizzled with the sauce.

Grilled Halibut with Lemon Citrus Beurre Blanc Sauce

This recipe was shared by Goose Ridge Estate Vineyard and Winery in sunny Washington. Wine club members will enjoy this recipe with their lovely Chardonnay.


kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

2 Tbsp white wine vinegar

8 Tbsp (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces


Lemon Citrus Beurre Blanc Sauce:

  1. In a small skillet, Combine wine, white wine vinegar, shallots, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered over medium heat until reduced by three quarters.
  2. Stir in lemon juice and lemon zest, then stir in the heavy cream.
  3. Remove pan from heat. Whisking continuously, add pieces of butter slowly until the sauce is creamy and whitened. Incorporate the butter without letting it completely melt.

Grilled Halibut:

  1. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill. When the coals are ready, spread them out to cover an area slightly larger than the surface area required for cooking the fish. Put the grill rack in place and let it preheat to prevent the fish from sticking.
  2. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel, rub with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the fish on the rack directly over the coals. Cook 8 to 10 minutes for each inch of thickness, turning the fish halfway through.
  3. Transfer to warmed individual plates and put a generous spoonful of the Lemon Citrus Beurre Blanc sauce on top.

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Recommended Wine Pairings

Need a wine pairing suggestion for this recipe? Please call our wine club at 1-800-777-4443 to speak with our club's Personal Wine Consultants. You may also visit our wine club's wine store for a full list of available wines recently featured in our wine club.