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Beurre Monte

Why is using burre monte better than just using melted butter?

jb

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  1. It won't thicken the way cold butter will when swirled into a sauce that needs enriching. It has to do with the binding/emulsification.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mamachef

      So emulsifying the butter makes it blend with sauces better. I can see that. Why is it better for poaching shrimp or fish?

      Thanks,

      jb

      1. re: JuniorBalloon

        Just saw this, jb - and you got a great answer below. Gawd i love me some Chowhounds.

        1. re: JuniorBalloon

          Fat has a relatively low heat capacity and low thermal conductivity. Fat, therefore, absorbs and doles out heat slower than water and water-type liquids such as broth. Beurre Monte, therefore, poaches delicate foods such as fish and shrimp more gradually than a broth at the same temperature.

      2. It stays emulsified (won't break down) under high temps. You can poach in it or finish half-cooked vegetables in it.

        It's also known as beurre fondue.

        1. Butter, as you buy it, is already emulsified although it is solid-the continuous phase of the emulsion (the part that has droplets suspended in it) is aqueous(water based) with fat droplets suspended in it. When you add more water to create beurre monte it simply expands the coninuous phase. Take lemon/butter combination for instance. If you add lemon jiuce to melted butter you get a broken mixture,i.e., it separates. If you add lemon juice (which is aqueous) to beurre monte the lemon jiuce just blends into the aqueous continuous phase and you get a beautiful lemon butter suspension. Ditto with maple syrup(pancake heaven).You can use any aqueous solution and add it to beurre monte and get a butter suspension-I have used lemon jiuce, vinegar, melted orange jiuce concentrate, hot sauce, molasses. You can add water to increase the volume and sous vide with butter poaching without using so much butter. When you melt butter the suspension breaks down and the butter separates into its lipid and aqueous component. In my experience beurre monte will also break down it you get it too hot.

          2 Replies
          1. re: LRunkle

            Excellent description, that makes it's uses clear. Deffinitely sounds like something useful to have in your repetoire.

            Thanks,
            jb

            1. re: LRunkle

              "In my experience beurre monte will also break down it you get it too hot."

              Yes, If you're using beurre monte/fondue for poaching, keep it under 180 degrees

            2. Butter, as in straight from the churn or the store, is an emulsion, but it is cold and will break when heated, leaving you with blobs of butter floating on top of whatever you add it to. Beurre Monte is a WARM emulsion that will stay emulsified and pull the liquid of whatever you add it to into the emulsion, thus expanding itself throughout the whole dish. It will break if you get it way too hot. It will also break if you don't keep it warm, but let it reduce to room temperature and you end up with clarified butter and water. But that's okay. Just drain off the water and you're good to go. Nothing wrong with that!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Caroline1

                Make it ahead of time and keep it in an oven at 170. It will hold for hours.

                1. re: carbonaraboy

                  My oven is the world's largest Easy Bake Oven. All I have to do is leave the light on and nothing will get cold in that puppy!