Bearnaise Sauce

This entry is filed under Sauce Recipes.

The perfect companion to a chateubriand or steak and not bad with chicken, fish and vegetables either.  This classic French sauce  is made the same way as a hollandaise, but please don’t let that put you off because this recipe is pretty much bomb proof! All that’s required is a little patience and some low heat! N.B If you have any sauce leftover, use it cold as a replacement to butter and spread over toasted ciabatta. Mmmm…

: 2
Preparation & Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Effort Level: A little effort
Shelf Life: Can be kept warm for an hour or so

2 medium egg yolks – room temp
150g unsalted butter
1 shallot or a few onion slices
15g fresh tarragon
1 tsp black peppercorns
4 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 small cups
1 small bowl to fit over saucepan
1 balloon whisk or wonder whisk
1 tea strainer
1 small saucepan  

Here’s What You Do:
Melt the butter over a low heat or in the microwave until it becomes liquid. Remove from the heat and let it settle, then strain off the clear golden liquid into one of the cups and put aside. Discard the milky sediment.

Finely chop the tarragon leaves, put aside tbsp and tip the remainder into a small saucepan. Add the vinegar, peppercorns, onion or shallot and boil over a high heat  for approx 5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to a tablespoon, then pour through a tea strainer into the second cup and put it aside.

One third fill a saucepan with hot water and place over a high heat.

Seperate the eggs (save the whites for a pavlova maybe??) and tip the yolks into the bowl. Add the vinegar reduction and place over the saucepan of water. Immediately reduce the temperature to a low heat. Whisk the yolks until they become very light and fluffy – approx 5 minutes then turn off  the heat and continue whisking, keeping the bowl over the saucepan of hot water.

Next, very slowly start dripping the liquid butter onto the yolks, whisk continuously until smooth. Continue adding the butter in this way – little by little and all the while whisking briskly until the sauce is thick – approx 10 mins.  Don’t worry if the sauce seems thin to begin with, it will gradually thicken up as you add the butter.

When all the butter has been added and the sauce is thick, tip in the reserved chopped tarragon, taste and season with a little salt.

Serve immediately, or cover the bowl with a lid and keep warm over a pan of hot water but off the heat, otherwise it will split. If the sauce gets too thick add a splash of hot water.

dsc052181  dsc05220  starting to emulsify
It's ready  dsc05223  dsc052352


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