How To Make Browned Butter Sauce

Browned butter sauce has a caramel/nutty flavour and I think the addition of sage works just as well for seafood, pasta, chicken and beef.

The pleasure of watching and smelling this sauce cook is sublime. The stages are so clear that they belie the difficulty level. When you get it right for the first time you will be pretty chuffed with yourself.



  • It is so easy to burn this sauce so don’t get distracted like I do
  • Keep the sauce moving slowly the whole time after the milk fats and proteins separate (see below)
  • I make it ahead of schedule so I don’t have to stress
  • You will quickly learn if you have cooked it too long and can adjust for next time
You will be:
  1. Heating on medium
  2. Heating on low
  3. Cooling
You will need:
  • Ingredients:
    • 200g of pure butter (ie not a blend)
    • sage leaves to taste
  •  Equipment:
    • a sauce pan
    • a small whisk
Heating on medium

Start melting the butter on the hob over a medium heat.


You will start to see the milk proteins and fats make two distinct layers


Next, the water content of the butter will begin to boil away. Keep stirring slowly now.20180127_160338

This is what it looks like after that happens.


Heating on low

Now turn the hob down to low and add the sage leaves.


After a while parts of the sauce will start to brown. Keep stirring slowly.


You can test if it i ready by spooning some onto a white surface. Perfect 🙂



I pour it into another vessel to cool down, stirring every now and again. At this point you can tell if it was on the heat too long and adjust accordingly next time you make the sauce. You want nutty not acrid.




Related Links:
  • see all recipes using butter here
  • see more sauces and condiment posts here
  • see more French cooking posts here

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