01 September 2011

Day 14: Monter au Beurre

The butter we didn't use.
"This is not a healthy cooking school."

Our chef-instructor was making two simple pan gravies from the drippings of roasted chicken and roasted guinea fowl. In went some stock, garlic, and some other herbs. He reduced both and explained monter au beurre, proof again that everything sounds glorious in French.

Monter is mount. Beurre is butter. So, basically, monter au beurre means add the caloric equivalent of a solid fuel rocket booster to enrich and finish a sauce. "This is French cooking," said our instructor.

And it was good. Really good.

We did more tournés today, which we actually roasted, somewhat mitigating my mounting contempt for tournés. They're like crispy little blimps.

We also minced parsley, a sneaky hard task if done properly. In the past, when I've chopped/minced parsley, it always ended up a little moist, and today I learned why. A standard up-and-down rocking chop on parsley results in bruising the leaves, causing moisture to leech out. Adding a little forward-backward slicing motion helps avoid this, and enabled us to make a dust-like minced parsley that's much easier to sprinkle.

On roasted chicken, say, or butter-enriched pan sauce. Like how the French do.
Guinea fowl pan sauce with pearl onions and, yes, finished with butter.


  1. parsley tip, so helpful! loving your blog, and i have shared it with friends. congratulations on your new venture!

  2. Thank you. I was really happy to learn the better way to deal with parsley. And thanks for sharing! You are, by the way, officially the first commenter. I feel like you should get a t-shirt or something.