culinary review

Steps to Making a Perfect Béarnaise Sauce

Last Modified: 01/24/08
First Published: 09/16/07
Views: 3467
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Views: 3467

Sauce Béarnaise is a classic emulsion of egg yolks and butter flavored with a reduction of vinegar and tarragon.bearnaise sauce It’s traditionally served with steak, however it’s sister sauce Hollandaise (which is flavored simply with lemon juice) can often be found on top of eggs benedict or steamed asparagus. No matter what you plan to serve this simple sauce with, it will surely brighten up even the simplest dish.

Contrary to popular belief, a béarnaise sauce isn’t hard to make, it only requires a little extra attention. When you are making this sauce – don’t walk away for a second, and never stop whisking. If you only follow these simple steps, your end result will be beautiful, shiny and absolutely delightful.

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General Info
Servings: 6
Total Cost: $2.13
Cost Per Serving: $0.36
Total Calories: 1,377
Calories/Serving: 229
Vinegar, White Wine 3 Tablespoons 45.00 Grams $0.32 0
Vinegar, Red Wine 3 Tablespoons 45.00 Grams $0.28 6
Onion, Red Diced 1 Tablespoon 10.00 Grams $0.03 4
Tarragon, Fresh, Chopped 1 Tablespoon 3.50 Grams $0.25 2
Water 1 Tablespoon 14.19 Grams $0.00 0
Egg Yolks (3 egg yolks) * 51.00 Grams $0.50 165
Butter, Unsalted (1 1/2 sticks) 12 Tablespoons 168.00 Grams $0.75 1,200


  • 3 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped red onion or shallot
  • a few springs of fresh tarragon – or about 1 tablespoon of dried + about 1 tsp of fresh chopped tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 ½ sticks of butter (about 12 tablespoons) cut in small cubes

Steps to making a perfect Béarnaise sauce

1. Place vinegar, onion and tarragon in a sauté pan and let simmer until reduced to about 1 tablespoon. Add a tablespoon of water, stir and then strain mixture.

2. Prepare a double boiler. Add about one inch of water in a casserole pan and bring up to a simmer. Never let this water come up to a boil – leave on low heat.
3. Place the vinegar reduction in a glass bowl and add the egg yolks. Whisk for a few minutes until frothy.
4. Place the glass bowl on top of the water and continue to whisk for a few more minutes.
Butter_cubes 5. Slowly, start adding butter. Start with only one cube at the time and make sure to let the butter dissolve completely before you add more, and whisk continuously. Once the sauce becomes more stable you can add a little more butter at times. Every now and then take the bowl off the double boiler to ensure that your emulsion doesn’t get too hot. Place back on the double boiler each time the sauce gets a little too cold.
6. Lastly, add the 1 teaspoon of fresh tarragon and taste off with some salt and perhaps pepper. Make sure your sauce is warm enough (otherwise just warm it over the double boiler, while whisking) and serve immediately. Alternatively do like Alton suggests and put your sauce in a thermos to keep it warm.