Drawn Butter Sauce

Drawn, but in this case, not clarified.

Clarified butter is butter melted down with the milk solids skimmed off. Most butter is about 80% fat, 15% milk solids, and 5% water. Skimming the milkfat off of the melted butter makes clarified butter, and that’s generally what culinary sources mean when they say drawn butter.

At the same time, some of the flavor in butter does, in fact, come from the milk solids. So another interpretation of drawn butter is a beurre monté, or a sauce mounted with butter: when cold butter is whisked into any sauce (including a melted butter sauce) to keep the butter emulsified despite it being melted. That has the richest, most buttery flavor possible, and that’s the sauce we see here.

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From the notebook of J.L. from Avon Lake, Ohio. Dated 1915.
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Drawn Butter Sauce


1/3 c. butter
1-1/2 c. hot water
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
3 T. flour


Melt half of the butter and add flour with seasonings, and pour hot water on gradually. Boil five minutes and add remaining butter in small pieces.


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