Whether we grill it on a plank, smoke it at low temperatures, or let the oven do all the work for us, we cook a lot of salmon in the summer time. We also drink a lot of beer. So, we decided to combine the two with a twist on a classic French sauce.
What makes this recipe so special is our “beer blanc” — a play on beurre blanc, a white sauce traditionally made with white wine and lots of butter. We opted for a lemony wheat beer for the base. We used our hometown favorite Boulevard Wheat for this, but any other wheat beer, wit beer, or hefeweizen will suffice. Of course, we still used lots of butter. The multiple layers of refreshing lemon flavor make this the perfect summer fish dish.
The other beauty of this recipe is the built-in perfect timing. You want the fish to cook for about 30 minutes and the sauce will take you about 35. As soon as you put the fish in the oven, start working on the sauce. When you pull the fish out you should be just about ready to add the cream and start whisking in the butter. By the time the fish has rested for five minutes you’re ready to put it on a plate, cover it with the beer sauce, and blow the minds of your guests.
Salmon With Beer Blanc Sauce
2 ½ pound salmon steaks
Salt and pepper
4 ounces wheat beer, wit beer, hefeweizen, or something comparable
2 shallots, finely minced
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
8 ounces wheat beer, wit beer, hefeweizen, or something comparable
2 ounces freshly squeezed lemon
1 Tablespoon heavy cream
12 Tablespoons (6 ounces) butter
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 275º.
To prepare the salmon, slice 2 of the lemons into circles and line a glass pan with them. Pour 4 ounces of the beer in the pan. Place the salmon steaks on top of the lemon wedges with the skin side down. Drizzle with olive oil and cover with garlic, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Using your fingers, gently mix the ingredients on top of the steaks, gently pushing some of the garlic into the flesh.
Cover with tin foil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the tin foil and cook for 10 more minutes. (note: we were using a glass pan and we suggest you do the same. If you are using something less thick you may want to reduce the time by 10 minutes or so—just keep an eye on it and you’ll be fine).
To prepare the “Beer” Blanc, add shallots, garlic, lemon juice and beer to a saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the sauce reduce until about 2 tablespoons of liquid remain in the pan.
Add the cream, turn the heat back up to-medium high, and whisk. Once the liquid is bubbling again, reduce the heat to low. Start adding the butter one tablespoon at a time while whisking constantly. As soon as one tablespoon has melted add the next until you’ve worked your way through all the butter. Immediately spoon onto the salmon and enjoy.