Sauce Béarnaise comes from the Béarn (also known as Gascon) located in the Southwest of France.
Much like Hollandaise sauce, it is an emulsion of clarified butter and egg yolk. Added to this smooth, rich and creamy base are the distinct flavoring of tarragon, shallots, and chervil.
This sauce is best served with grilled meat, poultry, or vegetables.
- 2 shallots – minced
- 1 cup dry white vermouth
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 lb of butter – melted and clarified
- 3 sprigs fresh tarragon leaves removed and minced
A bain marie (or double boiler or a pot of simmering water into which you can float another smaller pot)
- Combine shallots, 1 tablespoon tarragon 1/2 teaspoon white pepper with wine and vinegar into the smaller of the 2 pots of the bain marie
Reduce liquids directly over medium high heat until ingredients are just moist (yes almost entirely reduced)
- Allow to cool.
- Whisk 3 egg yolks with 2 tablespoons of water and the cooled reduction mixture in the small saucepan and place over slowly simmering water.
- Whisk continuously while the mixture thickens into a creamy state. When the sauce easily coats the back of a spoon, slowly add the melted butter, again whisking while adding. When all the butter is incorporated, remove from heat, add the remaining tarragon and season to taste with salt
- Serve immediately.
If the sauce cooks too quickly it will start to curdle ( the eggs are solidifying) and begin to look like scrambled eggs. Remove immediately and whisk in 2-3 tablespoons of cold water VIGOROUSLY. It should turn back to the right texture.. Proceed from there.