You will love this classic bernaise sauce recipe! It is a deliciously creamy fresh tarragon and butter sauce that you definitely have to try out on your next steak dinner. It is also called sauce béarnaise in French.
This bernaise sauce recipe is one of my most favorite steak sauces ever!
And that is not a joke. What I love about this yellow treat is that strong wine and vinegar touch in that thick melted butter sauce, and then that fragrant and fresh tarragon. What an excellent steak sauce this is!
However this classic French butter sauce might look innocent to you. But this bernaise sauce recipe or béarnaise sauce (béarnaise in French) is not an easy one to make. The moment you think that the sauce is coming together, all of a sudden it can split in a blink of an eye.
And all you can do is throw the split butter sauce out and start all over again.
But why is it that difficult to make?
Because it takes quite some time and an awful lot of your patience to make that butter melt in the right way at a very specific temperature. Really all I can say is, don’t rush things. Take your time. It’s all worth it.
So are you ready for a good old steak sauce challenge today?
Then this bernaise sauce recipe is exactly what you need!
Bernaise Sauce Recipe (Classic Bearnaise Recipe)
So let’s start off with a very important thing here.
The heat underneath the pan has to be absolutely perfect.
It can’t be too high or too low because the chemistry between that yellow egg yolks and then the slowly melting butter has to do its magic. Both have to slowly melt into each other so that you end up with a creamy mixture.
And that’s what will also make or break this bernaise sauce recipe, believe me.
But don’t you fret over it that you are not up for it. Because I will be very honest here with you. I make this bernaise sauce quite often at home, and even I still end up with a split bernaise butter sauce from time to time.
After all these years. I would even go as far as to say that half of the times I have to start all over. It is a pretty tricky sauce. But if you do it right, then you are in for a real treat!
I am always excited when I reach the end of my recipe and that bernaise sauce in that little saucepan looks thick and glossy and rich. Homemade bernaise is so much better than the supermarket stuff. Way better! If it works of course.
But then again, even after making it a zillion times, I still mess it up from time to time.
And the funny thing is, I can almost always tell why the sauce split and didn’t come together. Because I didn’t get the right heat under the pan, or I rushed it, or I overworked the sauce.
That’s why I have said it before: take your time. Follow the rules and do it by the book and your bernaise sauce recipe will be a huge hit.
Homemade bernaise sauce from scratch… It’s really worth it.
A freshly homemade bernaise is absolutely to die for!
And you and your family will be over the moon.
If you are brave enough, then you can even try to make this bernaise sauce recipe in a warm water bath or bain-marie. This will make your bernaise sauce also extra light and airy!
Besides, melting butter in this water bath also keeps it from burning or overheating too fast. It also slows down the melting process, which is exactly what you need.
I have made this bernaise sauce bain marie, and yes. The sauce was even better. But then again, it takes time!
I often order a steak bernaise in a restaurant as a test, especially in meat restaurants. In Belgium it’s the same thing for shrimp croquettes or steak tartare by the way. Because how these classics are executed tells you a lot about how a chef runs his or her kitchen.
Does the chef make his personal homemade bernaise sauce recipe for your steak? Good job then! Did it come from a jar or straight out of the freezer into the microwave?
Making a bernaise sauce recipe is time consuming, I agree. But if a restaurant charges an extra 5 or 6 bucks extra for a steak sauce, then I don’t expect to get a wobbly yellow glue on my plate.
I hate shortcuts in a professional kitchen.
Tarragon, Egg Yolk & Butter
You will love this bernaise sauce recipe.
It is a gorgeous homemade creamy tarragon, egg yolk and butter sauce. And a great sauce to try out when you are planning your next steak dinner!! Bearnaise is a French classic recipe and also a basic cooking skill if you ask me!
Bernaise isn’t only a great match for steak. Because it is also a great sauce that you can serve with a piece of poached salmon for instance, did you know that? Salmon and bernaise, it really works!
Do you love this bernaise sauce recipe for steak?
Then also check out my white asparagus with smoked salmon and homemade dill béarnaise sauce! That’s also a great summer sauce!
My Step by Step Bernaise Sauce Recipe
My bernaise sauce recipe: a creamy tarragon and butter sauce!
- 1 egg yolk
- ⅓ cup dry white wine (80 ml)
- ⅓ cup white wine vinegar (80 ml), or red wine vinegar
- a good handful fresh tarragon chopped
- 1 large shallot chopped very finely
- 3,5 oz unsalted butter (100 g), cold and diced
1) Place a medium saucepan with the chopped shallot, white wine and vinegar over medium heat until it boils gently. Season with pepper and salt.
2) Let the liquid reduce fully. Then take the pan off the heat and let the cooked shallots cool for 5 minutes. Put the saucepan back over very low heat and then add the egg yolk.
3) Whisk vigorously to keep the yolk from scrambling. Keep the pan over very low heat and keep on whisking until the yolk sauce gets a sabayon like consistency.
4) One by one add small pieces of the cold butter to the pan and continuously move the butter around on a fork until it has fully melted. Then add another bit of butter. Keep the heat very low.
5) Keep stirring in bits of butter. The bernaise sauce takes a while to come together. It needs to be done carefully so don't hurry. Add as much butter as you want. The sauce should have slightly thickened but still be light and creamy.
6) Stir constantly. Then check the seasoning in the end and add extra pepper or salt to taste. Add the chopped tarragon. Now turn the heat off and let the bernaise sauce rest for another 2 minutes.
7) Transfer the bernaise sauce to a jug and serve with freshly cooked steaks.