Bearnaise sauce

Bearnaise sauce

By
From
Hix Oyster & Chop House
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Jason Lowe

This is the classic sauce to accompany grilled meats and fish. It’s not a British sauce as such, but you can bet your life if you don’t serve it the customer will ask for it.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon white wine or cider vinegar
1 small shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
a few sprigs tarragon, leaves picked, stalks reserved
a few sprigs chervil, leaves picked, stalks reserved
5 black peppercorns
200g unsalted butter
3 small egg yolks
salt
freshly ground white pepper
lemon juice, (optional)

Method

  1. Put the vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, the shallot, herb stalks and peppercorns in a saucepan and simmer for a minute or until the liquid has reduced to 2 teaspoons. Strain through a sieve and leave to cool.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat and let bubble very gently for 3–4 minutes. Remove from the heat, leave to cool a little, then pour off the pure liquid butter into a bowl, leaving the milky whey behind. Discard the whey. (Clarifying the butter in this way helps to keep the sauce thick.)
  3. Put the egg yolks into a small heatproof bowl (or a double boiler if you have one) with half of the vinegar reduction and set over a pan of gently simmering water. Whisk the mixture until it begins to thicken and become frothy. Slowly trickle in two-thirds of the clarified butter, whisking continuously – preferably using an electric hand whisk. If the butter is added too quickly, the sauce is liable to separate.
  4. Now taste the sauce and add a little more, or all, of the remaining vinegar reduction. Then whisk in the rest of the butter. The vinegar should just cut the oiliness of the butter sauce; don’t add too much. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Cover the bowl and leave in a warm, not hot, place until needed, but no longer than 20 minutes.
  6. To serve, chop the tarragon and chervil leaves and stir into the sauce. Check the seasoning and add a squeeze of lemon juice, to taste. Whisk lightly.
Tags:
Hix Oyster & Chop House
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