After that title, you may be thinking, "Wait, did I read that correctly? Is this becoming a food blog?" Answer: No, it's not. BUT when I make a recipe that is oh-so-delicious, and I happened to have a well-paired wine with it, I just have to share. This recipe was sent to me by my dad, but is courtesy of a great restaurant in Highlands, North Carolina -- Wild Thyme. If you're ever in the area, be sure to check them out!
So back to the Pink Peppercorn Beurre Blanc... what's not to like? Shallots. Butter. Pepper. All things I love, so bring it on. The recipe is super easy with the most difficult part being keeping your arm from cramping with all of the whisking. The recipe is below, but if you prefer to download and print, you can get the recipe here!
Pink Peppercorn Beurre Blanc
- 1 tbsp shallot, minced
- 2 tsp pink peppercorns
- 8 tbsp unsalted, cold butter
- 2 tbsp dry vermouth
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- White pepper
- Lemon juice, if desired (I recommend!)
Get your mise en place together! Mince the shallots. Crush the pink peppercorns using a mortar and pestle, or a ziploc bag and a mallet works just fine, too. Cut the chilled butter into tablespoon-sized pieces, and set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the shallots, vermouth, white balsamic vinegar and crushed pink peppercorns. Bring mixture barely to a simmer, and allow the mixture to be reduced by about two-thirds, stirring the mixture constantly, until it reaches a syrupy consistency.
Reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and whisk in the cold butter cubes, one piece at a time, to slowly form the emulsion. Once all of the butter has been incorporated into the peppery-vermouth mixture, season it generously with salt and white pepper. If needed, add a few dashes of lemon juice to tweak the flavor of the sauce.
Keep an eye on the completed beurre blanc while you prepare the rest of your meal, making sure to keep the sauce warm to the touch and whisking often to prevent the smooth sauce from splitting.
The sauce works well on any white, flaky fish (halibut, sea bass, snapper, etc.), but would also be great on scallops. Pair it with a medium to full body white wine that balances a creaminess with acidity (Chardonnay -- maybe even with a little bit of oak, Sémillon, Pinot Gris, etc.). What wine did we have? This white, or vinho branco, from the Dão region of Portugal found in my Spain & Portugal Weekly Tasting pack.
Dão is certainly more well known for its reds, but their dominant white grape is Encruzado, which is also the main grape in this Prunus wine. Encruzado was described as being similar to Viognier, and I definitely agree. It was very aromatic, which is so characteristic of Viognier. To me, the wine smelled and tasted of white peach and had a great mouth coating quality. It was buttery in texture but the apple notes and acidity kept it from feeling too heavy. This creamy texture went so well with the weight of the sauce. Weekly Tasting said it'd be a crowd pleaser, and I can certainly tell why. Easy drinking with different features that could appeal to every type of white wine drinker. Plus, it has a pretty label! Gotta love wines that are pretty AND taste good. While it's definitely different than the whites I typically go for, Prunus Vinho Branco gets three bunches in my book!