A while back when I drafted up some long-term ideas on what to make and share on this little ol’ blog Béarnaise Sauce most certainly made the list. It is one of my husband’s favorite, favorite things. I’m pretty fond myself. Of course, I originally thought I would share it as part of a ‘Sauce Week’ in the fall. But, alas I made it a couple days ago and well I love it too much not to share now.
Béarnaise is a spin off of the mother sauce: Hollandaise. Both consist of clarified butter, egg yolks, vinegar (and in my case wine), lemon juice or zest, and of course salt + pepper. The ingredients are emulsified and then whipped into smooth, creamy, buttery goodness. Béarnaise is Hollandaise on herbal crack. That is the best way I can think to describe it, because in the process you infuse shallot and tarragon flavor into the sauce and OH MAN does it take it to the next level. Even if you aren’t crazy about tarragon, which has a licorice odor and flavor, I still encourage you to try it. The combo of all the ingredients really does create something special.
We love Béarnaise for steaks and asparagus, but honestly my favorite way to eat it is with good crusty bread. Even after your refrigerate your leftover sauce. (Which turns the sauce into a fluffy compound butter that is in its own right precious gold, FYI) But, it would make some amazing chicken, pork chops, and take just about any vegetable to the next level. French fries… I mean hello? Good sauce makes everything better; except ice cream, but just this once I swear! Well I promise in general… which is probably safer and more accurate. 😉
- 1/4 cup Champagne or white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup good white wine
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves,
- or more to taste
- 1/2 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Salt + Pepper, to taste
- 3 large egg yolks
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter, cut into pats
For the sauce, put the Champagne vinegar, white wine, shallots, 1 tablespoon minced tarragon leaves in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is reduced; cool slightly.
In a small bowl vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice, while streaming in some of the vinegar reduction – to temper your eggs. Once tempered whisk egg mixture into vinegar reduction and return pan to burner, over medium-low heat. Continue whisking while you add 1-2 pats of butter at time. The sauce will thicken and lighten in color as you add the butter. Continue until all butter is incorporated. You should have a thick, lovely and creamy sauce. Remove from heat, salt + pepper to taste, and stir in at least 1 more Tablespoon of minced fresh tarragon.
Serve warm; leave out at room-temp until ready to serve. Refrigerate leftovers and enjoy as amazing compound butter! If you have any…
Tips – If you step away and your sauce tries to seize or becomes lumpy try putting it through a fine mesh sieve to save the texture. I’ve never had it happen with the sauce, but just in case 😉 Also, if it is too thick simply add more white wine or vinegar – about 1 Tablespoon at a time should do the trick.
I love butter way too much,