Like roux, beurre manié contains equal parts by volume of butter and flour. It differs from roux, however, in that it is not cooked and is usually added at the end of a sauce’s cooking rather than at the beginning. It is most often used to thicken stews at the end of cooking when the braising liquid is too thin.
To prepare beurre manié, simply work together equal parts by volume of flour and butter with the back of a dinner fork until they form a smooth paste (see photos). To thicken a liquid, simply whisk in the beurre manié a bit at a time, and wait for the liquid to come to a simmer after each addition (the thickening effect does not occur and cannot be gauged until the mixture comes to approaches a boil). Continue in this way until the liquid has the right thickness. Unlike roux, beurre manié should not be cooked any longer once the mixture thickens or the sauce will develop a strong floury taste. (One of the peculiarities of flour is that it develops a strong floury taste after 2 minutes of cooking that begins to disappear as the cooking progresses, usually after 30 minutes.)
Copyright © 2017 by James Peterson. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.