Slurries, Beurre Manié, Floured Meat

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

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Cooks use four methods for incorporating starch into a sauce. The first is to mix the starch with some cold water, so that the granules are wetted and separated before they encounter gelation temperatures. The starch-water slurry can then be added directly to the sauce. A second method is to separate the starch or flour particles not with water, but with fat. Beurre manié, or “kneaded butter,” is flour worked into a paste with its weight in butter. When a piece of the paste is added to a hot sauce in need of last-minute thickening, the butter melts and gradually releases greased starch particles into the liquid, where their swelling and gelation are slowed by the water-repelling surface layer.