This is now my second recipe that features Beurre Blanc. Literally translated, Beurre Blanc is French for “White Butter”. The very notion of white butter excites me. Unlike the Five Mother Sauces, Beurre Blanc is fairly new to the culinary world, an accidental creation of Clémence Lefeuvre some time around the beginning of the 20th century.
At its core, Beurre Blanc is a hot emulsified butter sauce made with the reduction of vinegars or white wines or both and shallots fused into cold, whole butter off heat. Although similar to a Hollandaise in concept, it is considered neither a classic leading sauce nor a compound of such a sauce. As the tale goes, Chef Lefeuvre was preparing a Béarnaise Sauce to be served with a Pike. Simple enough, except she forgot to add both the tarragon and egg yolk. Personally, I find such a mistake impossible for a skilled chef but rather a bold and brave intention.
Like the Mother Sauces before it, a good Beurre Blanc is rich and buttery, yet neutral and thus responding well to other seasonings and flavorings. One thing you’ve got to give the French credit for, it is their ability to create the most incredible sauces on the planet. Their use of creams and butters is amazing. It’s just a good thing we don’t eat French cooking every day. Oh but when we do, it is beyond divine.
Bacon-Wrapped Pork with Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Beurre Blanc
2 Pork Tenderloins, trimmed (1 lb each)
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
2 slices Bacon
For the Bacon-Wrapped Pork:
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Trim all visible fat from tenderloins. Season with salt and pepper and wrap each tenderloin with one piece of bacon; use wooden toothpicks to hold bacon in place.
Place an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the tenderloin in the hot pan to brown the bacon, then finish in oven until the internal temperature of the meat is 145 degrees. Depending upon the oven and thickness of tenderloin, this should take about 35 to 45 minutes.
Remove from oven and let rest.
1/2 cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes in oil, julienned
1 tablespoon Garlic, minced
1/2 bunch Basil, chiffonade
1/4 lb Butter, chilled
1/4 cup White Wine
1/2 cup Heavy Cream
Additional Basil, chiffonade for garnish
For the Beurre Blanc:
Drain the Sun-Dried Tomatoes, reserve the oil. Julienne the tomatoes and set aside. Mince the garlic, and set aside. Chiffonade the basil, set aside. Cut the chilled butter into 8 small cubes, set aside.
Sauté the garlic in 1 tablespoon of the reserved sun-dried tomato oil. Be careful not to brown the garlic as it will make the sauce taste bitter.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine and let reduce until all the wine has evaporated.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes and basil and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the cream and reduce by two thirds.
Remove from heat and stir in butter, one small cube at a time until all butter is incorporated. This step must be done off the heat or the sauce will break and appear oily.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve tenderloin immediately, sliced and placed atop a bed of sauce on each serving plate. Garnish with fresh basil ribbons if desired.