Bearnaise Sauce

  • Prep Time
    About 15 minutes
  • Cook Time
    About thirty minutes
  • Serving
  • View

Remember how wild it made Gomez when Morticia spoke French?  This very French steak sauce will drive any man or woman crazy.  It’s decadent and so much better than the pre-fab sauces most steak houses serve.  You need 3/4 cup of vinegar and wine but you can play with the ratios and types of vinegars.  Squeeze a little lemon juice in it if you will.  Make this part of your repertoire and have a better-than-steak-house dinner at your own cozy table. Perfect for date night, especially if your date is you.



    A good Bearnaise sauce requires your attention, but you can walk away a few minutes while the vinegar and wine reduce. Then temper your eggs. When it's time to whisk in the butter, don't take your eyes off the sauce unless the house is burning down.

    Step 1

    In a small saucepan, add the wine, vinegar and lemon juice. Add the shallots and tarragon. Reduce to a few tablespoons or until the reduction is almost a syrup. This will take about 15 minutes depending on the heat. +

    Step 2

    Whisk three egg yolks in a very large Pyrex measuring cup. Pour just a few drops of your reduced vinegar mixture into the eggs and whisk, whisk, whisk. This tempers the eggs. Gradually pour in a little more vinegar mixture while you whisk. You'll wind up with all of the sauce in your Pyrex measuring cup.

    Step 3

    Now pour the egg and vinegar mixture back into the saucepan, and here's where you have to whisk like the wind. Have your cold butter cut in pat sized chunks next to the stove top. Adjust your heat under the saucepan and continue to adjust as you make the sauce. Start adding the butter a pat at a time. Whisk constantly! You want enough heat to melt the butter but not enough to scramble those eggs. Try to move your whisk all around the pan and into the corners to prevent "breaking" your sauce. Add butter with one hand and whisk with the other. You want to see the bottom of the pan as you whisk. As the sauce thickens, move the pan off and on the heat if necessary, and then when all the butter is incorporated and you have a thick emulsification, put the pan over your sink and whisk some MORE air into this sauce. You should have a silky shimmering thick Bearnaise redolent of tarragon.

    Step 4

    You can hold this a few hours. Pour the sauce back into the Pyrex measuring cup (which you have rinsed out with hot water and dried). Put the measuring cup down in the sauce pan which is now filled with warm water. Put a diffuser on your burner and let the sauce sit in the hot water until you're ready to use it. Keep an eye on it and adjust the heat of the water bath as necessary. Don't let it boil for God's sake. It needs to stay warm, not to cook. Have a cocktail.

    Step 5

    And if your sauce breaks while you are whisking in the butter, add an ice cube and keep whisking and if you are good person and living righteously the sauce will be revived.

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