Foolproof Béarnaise Sauce Recipe

Rich, buttery Béarnaise is the easiest elegant steak sauce to make at home.

Bearnaise, Butter

12/3/2021 12:00:00 AM

Rich, buttery Béarnaise is the easiest elegant steak sauce to make at home.

A foolproof technique to make a classic French bearnaise sauce using hot butter and a hand blender. This elegant sauce for steaks and fish can be made in five minutes.

, but they're lacking in class and panache. That's where béarnaise comes in. It's as classy as sauces come, it requires nothing that you can't find at your average supermarket, and it's quick to make.Béarnaise is a fat-in-water emulsion—in this case, butter emulsified into a reduction of white wine and vinegar flavored with shallots, tarragon, and chervil, all bound and thickened with egg yolks. It's technically a derivative of

hollandaisesauce, one of the five French mother sauces. And just like with hollandaise, the ways to mess it up are plentiful. Traditionally, you'd make béarnaise over a double boiler, slowly drizzling in clarified butter while whisking egg yolks until a thick emulsion is formed. Add the fat too fast and you break your emulsion. Heat it up too much and it turns into scrambled eggs. Don't heat it enough and you'll have a thin, wet sauce instead of a rich, meat-coating sauce. 

Fortunately, we can use the exact same technique we use to make foolproof hollandaise andmayonnaiseto make a foolproof béarnaise. The key is to completely forgo the double boiler, instead heating up the butter and using its residual heat to cook the egg yolks. By placing the yolks and the wine reduction in the bottom of a tall container that just barely fits the head of a hand blender, we can create a strong vortex that then pulls hot butter down towards the blades of the hand blender, creating a strong, stable emulsion. Check out our

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foolproof hollandaise videoto learn more about the science behind this technique.Stir in some chopped tarragon and chervil (I sometimes also add a few tablespoons of minced chives), and you're ready to serve. Steak never had it so good.

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