This bernaise sauce recipe is one of my most favorite steak sauces ever! This one might look innocent enough. But bernaise or bearnaise sauce (béarnaise in French) is not an easy one to make because it takes quite some time and even more patience to prepare it.
So are you ready for a challenge today?
Then this recipe is exactly what you need.
Bernaise Sauce Recipe (Classic Bearnaise Recipe)
Very important: the heat underneath the pan has to be perfect. Not too high and too low because the chemistry between the egg yolks and butter has to work its magic. Both have to slowly melt into a creamy mix. And that’s what will make or break this sauce.
Honestly: I still end up with a split butter sauce sometimes. Even after making it a zillion times. And I can almost always tell why. I couldn’t get the right heat under the pan, I rushed it, I overworked the sauce. Take your time. Follow the rules and do it by the book.
It’s really worth it. A freshly homemade bernaise is absolutely to die for.
If you’re brave enough you can try to make this sauce in a warm water bath or bain-marie. This will make your bernaise sauce also extra light and airy!
I often order steak bernaise in a restaurant as a test (same thing for shrimp croquettes or crab cakes) because it tells you a lot about how a chef runs his or her kitchen. Homemade bernaise sauce? Good job then! 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.
Tarragon, Egg Yolk & Butter
You will love this bernaise sauce recipe: it’s 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 a basic cooking skill if you ask me!
Bernaise isn’t only a great match for steak. It is also a great sauce to serve with poached salmon for instance, did you know that?
Love this steak recipe? Then also check out my white asparagus with smoked salmon and homemade dill béarnaise sauce! 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.