Beurre manié is a French bit of genius used to thicken sauces and stews. Flour and softened butter combine to make a no-hassle, lump-free thickener.
Beurre manié, french for “kneaded butter” (pronounced bur mon-yay), is just equal parts of softened butter and flour worked into a paste. Because the fat from the butter coats the flour particles, everything you use it in will be free of lumps. Awesome! It’s kind of like roux in the raw.
You can mix it up as needed, but I prefer to make a bigger batch and keep it in the freezer. That way I have it whenever I need it.
Start with a stick (8 tablespoons) of butter. I prefer unsalted because it lets me control the salt. You can use whatever you have on hand, just make sure to adjust the salt in the recipe you’re using it in.
Start mashing the butter into the flour. The butter should be really soft.
Keep working them together until you have a nice paste.
Then put it on some plastic wrap, work it into a log, and wrap it up tight. Pop it into the fridge or freezer until it’s nice and solid.
From here you can cut your beurre manié into 4 equal pieces (2 tablespoons) and toss them into a zip top freezer bag.
Here’s how to use it straight from the freezer:
- thicken soups, stews, and sauces; toss 2-4 tablespoons in the broth or sauce.
- as a roux; instead of melting butter and adding flour.
- to start gravies; a couple of tablespoons melted gets things going.
- instead of a slurry; just drop it in and watch it thicken.
When using beurre manié in liquids, be sure to bring it up to a boil to thicken, then reduce the heat and simmer it for a minute or two to cook out the raw flour taste.
By the way, don’t even try this with margarine. Most margarines contain waaaay too much water and you’ll end up with a gooey lumpy, mess.