Brown Butter: Everything You Need To Know

Brown butter, also known as beurre noisette, is a versatile ingredient that adds a rich and nutty flavor to various dishes. It is made by slowly heating butter until its milk solids turn golden brown, and the butter gives off a nutty aroma. Making brown butter is simple, but it requires some attention to ensure that the butter doesn't burn.

How to make brown butter

  1. Prepare a light-colored pan and good-quality unsalted butter.
  1. Cut the butter into small pieces and place them in the pan over medium-low heat.
  1. As the butter melts, it will start to foam. Keep stirring or swirling the pan occasionally to ensure the butter melts evenly.
  1. As the butter continues to cook, the milk solids at the bottom of the pan turn golden brown.
  1. Once the butter has a nutty aroma and the milk solids have turned a dark golden brown, remove the pan from the heat.

Tips in making brown butter

The key to making perfect brown butter is to pay attention to the color and aroma of the butter. If the butter turns too dark, it will have a burnt flavor, so it's important to remove it from the heat as soon as the desired color and aroma are achieved. You can also strain the butter through a fine mesh sieve to remove any burnt bits of milk solids.

Uses of brown butter

  • Baking. It can be used in place of regular butter in recipes for cookies, cakes, and pastries to add a nutty flavor. Brown butter can also be a finishing touch for pasta dishes, vegetables, and fish. It's a great way to add depth and complexity to a dish without overpowering the other flavors.

  • Flavor to savory dishes. It adds a rich, nutty flavor that pairs well with various herbs and spices. It's also a great way to flavor pan-seared fish or chicken. Simply add a small amount of brown butter to the pan at the end of cooking, adding a delicious nutty flavor to the dish.

  • Creating compound butter. To do this, mix brown butter with herbs or other seasonings and roll it into a log. You can then slice off pieces of the compound butter as needed and use it to add flavor to a variety of dishes. Some popular herb and spice combinations for compound butter include rosemary and garlic, lemon and thyme, and parsley and shallots.

  • Salad dressings, marinades, and sauces. It can be whisked into vinaigrettes to add a nutty flavor or used as a base for a hollandaise sauce. You can also make a béarnaise sauce by adding tarragon, shallots, and white wine to the brown butter.

Final Thoughts

Brown butter is a versatile ingredient that adds a rich and nutty flavor to various dishes. It's easy to make, but it requires attention to ensure it doesn't burn.

From baking to savory dishes, brown butter can be used in a variety of ways to add depth and complexity to a dish.

Whether you make cookies, pasta, or fish, brown butter adds a delicious nutty flavor. So next time you're cooking, consider using brown butter to elevate your dish to the next level.