• 100ml dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc)
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 200g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes


  • STEP 1

    Pour the wine, vinegar and shallots into a saucepan set over a medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid has reduced to about 1-2 tbsp. Strain the mixture into a jug and discard the shallots. Pour 1 tbsp back into the saucepan.

  • STEP 2

    Put the pan over a low heat and vigorously whisk in the butter, a cube at a time, only adding another cube after the previous addition has melted into the sauce and emulsified. Keep a close eye on the heat – if the sauce starts to look greasy or you can see obvious streaks of butter, remove from the heat and continue whisking, but don’t add any more butter until it looks cohesive again (see tip below).

  • STEP 3

    Once at least half of the butter has been added, starting whisking in two cubes at a time. The sauce should start to look thick and glossy, and will take on the consistency of double cream. The process will take about 20-25 mins. Season to taste with another splash of the initial reduction and salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Recipe tip

Whisk in the butter thoroughly and quickly to ensure it melts evenly into the sauce. If the heat is too high, it can cause the sauce to split. If it starts to look too thin or split, it could be that the butter was added too quickly, which will result in a thin sauce. Alternatively, it may not have been cold enough and therefore melted too quickly. If the sauce does split, remove it from the heat and vigorously whisk in a small cube of ice until it emulsifies again.

Goes well with


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