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Béarnaise sauce

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

Wonderful with steak, it can be served also with grilled or baked white fish such as seabass.

This will make 250ml sauce.


  • 50ml white wine vinegar

  • 25ml dry white wine

  • 30ml water

  • 2 egg yolks

  • 1 Tbsp fresh tarragon

  • 1/2 tsp of Cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp of fine salt

  • 150gr ghee (clarified melted butter)

  • 1 medium shallot

  • The juice of 1/2 a lemon (optional)

You will need:

  • For the bain-marie, you need to select a pot that can fit well into another one but that will not touch the bigger one bottom, I use a smaller pot with handles on both sides so that it hangs on the edges of the bigger one

  • Put the smaller pot hanging into the bigger pot, then fill the bigger pot with water so that the water reaches 1-2cm below the handles of the smaller pot (you don't want splashes of water to reach inside your smaller pot)


  • Wash the fresh tarragon, discard the stalk and finely chop it

  • Coarsely chop the shallot

  • Put in a pot the wine, the vinegar, the water, 1/2 of the measured salt and pepper, the shallot and the tarragon (keep 1tsp of chopped tarragon aside though) and bring to the boil

  • Let it simmer until it is reduced down to half of the original volume

  • Take it off the heat and leave it to reach room temperature (up to here, you can do this even 1 day in advance, but in that case, when it's cooled down, keep it in a small jar closed with a lid)

  • Filter the aromatic infusion using a fine sieve and set aside (it must reach room temperature)

  • Bring your big pot and the measured bain-marie water to the boil

  • Off the hob, whisk the egg yolks well directly into the smaller pot, and as soon as they change colour start adding slowly your infusion, while continuing to whisk it up and allowing it time to contine to grow and absorb the liquid, whisk it up very well to make it grow

  • At this point the water in the big pot will be boiling, so transfer your smaller pot into the bigger pot, reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to whisk the sauce

  • Slowly add your clarified butter, while whisking all the time in your bain-marie

  • Continue to whisk while cooking it until the sauce thickens and you can draw ribbons with it if you lift it with a spoon - at that point the sauce is ready

  • Add the fresh tarragon and taste for salt and pepper, add more of either only if needed

  • Add a few drops of lemon juice if you want (optional)

  • Transfer to a serving bowl and let it reach room temperature.

TIP: If you are not serving it immediately, cover it tightly with cling film, ensuring that the film is directly in contact with the full surface so that it will not make a skin


  • Use this sauce warm or at room temperature

  • Keep it outside of the fridge and consume within 6 hours

  • Any left over can be kept in the fridge tightly covered with cling film for up to 3 days

  • Always let it reach room temperature before serving

  • Do not freeze this sauce

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