Scotland is the home of incredibly fresh seafood and smoked fish, but we don’t often think of it as a resource for fantastic sauces. Nick Nairn, most recently known for his stint as one of BBC’s top celebrity chefs on Ready Steady Cook, has come a long way from his roots as a food lover and self-taught
His recipe for Nage Butter Sauce is going into my permanent file – it’s that delicious! (For an abbreviated version of the recipe, keep reading!) If you’re familiar with the subtle tangy flavor of the French beurre blanc, you’ll appreciate Nairn’s Nage Butter Sauce. With a marinated vegetable stock base, the velvety smoothness of this emulsified sauce is achieved by the addition of a generous amount of cold butter and just a hint of lemon juice. But if you’re watching your waistline – forget it! Move onto clear broth and miss out on this decadent touch to any pasta, fish or vegetable dish.
Inspired by Nick’s Wild Harvest recipe for Lasagne of Wild Mushrooms with Baby Asparagus and Chervil Sauce, I came up with my variation on this main course. Instead of a chervil sauce, I added sweet red peppers and sliced courgette to the fresh lasagne, and seasoned the sauce with a hint of sea salt with pink peppercorns and herbs de provence. To complement the flavors of the vegetables, ladle a generous portion of Nage Butter Sauce on top and enjoy. I baked it until the pasta warmed through and added a bit of shaved grana padana cheese. Wow!
Nick Nairn’s Nage Butter Sauce (from Wild Harvest with Nick Nairn)
This sauce is best emulsified with an immersion blender – I had to settle for excellent flavor but less than perfect texture with only a whisk at my disposal in my tiny kitchen!
*1 pint vegetable stock
7 ounces unsalted butter, diced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
pinch of salt
- Heat vegetable stock in saucepan, bring to boil and reduce to 1/5 of original volume. Remaining stock will be thickened and slightly syrupy.
- Incorporate butter into sauce and melt. Use hand blender, drinks blender or whisk to thoroughly combine. As Nick says, “give it a good old thrash about until all of the butter is melted and the texture is light and frothy.”
- When the texture is right, add the lemon and seasonings, and keep warm until ready to use. Do not let boil again or sauce can separate.
*Nick’s homemade Nage stock is derived from onion, leek, celery, fennel, carrots, garlic, peppercorns, white wine,coriander and seasonings. If you don’t have time to make fresh stock from scratch, you can substitute prepared seasoned vegetable stock.
At the Nick Nairn Cook School near the Port of Menteith in Stirling, they stress
Nick Nairn Cook School
Port of Menteith