Don’t let the idea of making Béarnaise Sauce scare you away. It is actually very easy as long as you adhere to a couple of rules.
You want to be careful not to cook the egg before the egg and butter emulsify.
- To avoid that you are going to heat a few inches of water in a saucepan. Then you are going to set a bowl over the pan. The bowl should settle about halfway down the saucepan but the key is to make sure the bottom of the bowl does NOT touch the water.
- You are going to whisk the egg yolks with the wine reduction CONSTANTLY. They will get foamy and thicken and lighter in colour.
- The melted butter must be cooled down. It can be warm to the touch but not hot. You are going to add the butter to the egg yolk mixture off the heat whisking constantly.
- You can hold the sauce a few hours at room temperature but be careful if you are going to reheat. It needs to reheat gently again, in the bowl over the saucepan – with the bowl NOT touching the water.
If you stick to these ‘rules’ you should be good to go. But the sauce gets too hot the sauce will ‘break’ and go grainy. It still will taste okay but the texture is less appealing.
How Do I Fix a Broken Sauce?
You can fix a broken sauce. This works for mayonnaise, aioli, Hollandaise as well. You are going to whisk by hand the broken sauce drop by drop into a new egg yolk or a bit of water. For full details check out How to Fix a Broken Sauce.
How Do I Serve Béarnaise Sauce?
Béarnaise sauce is a traditional accompaniment to Beef Tenderloin or other steak cuts. It is often served with steak and roasted potatoes.
I served it over Eggs Benedict because I like the tarragon notes. Check out how I have managed to make Eggs Benedict even more decadent with Béarnaise sauce!
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 shallots minced
- 1 sprig fresh tarragon plus 1 Tbsp chopped
- 4 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Boil vinegar and wine in a saucepan with the shallots and tarragon sprig until reduced to 3 Tbsps.
- Place a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Bowl should NOT touch the water. Whisk the egg yolks with the wine reduction until thick and foamy.
- Transfer the bowl to the counter and drizzle in the cooled butter whisking vigorously the entire time. Add the minced tarragon, salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick you can add a bit of hot water.
- You can hold the sauce at room temperature for a while and rewarm it gently in the bowl over the simmering water. Whisk constantly. Take care that it doesn't get too hot or it will separate.
- Serve over eggs benedict, beef tenderloin or as desired.