Béarnaise Sauce


1 Tbsp chopped shallots
1 Tbsp fresh tarragon, plus 1/2 tsp fresh tarragon
1 Tbsp fresh chervil, plus 1/2 tsp fresh chervil
4 Tbsp white wine vinegar
4 Tbsp dry white wine
4 egg yolks
3/4 cups melted butter
White pepper
Cayenne pepper
Lemon juice (optional)

Note: If you only have dried tarragon and chervil, decrease the amount called for by half. In the last step when finishing the sauce, steep the dried tarragon and chervil in boiling water and drain, before adding to the sauce.


Combine the shallots, 1 Tbsp tarragon, 1 Tbsp chervil, vinegar, wine, and a pinch each of salt and white pepper in a saucepan. Cook until the liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, and cool slightly. In a bowl or the top of a double boiler, lightly beat the egg yolks with 1 Tbsp of water and the cooled mixture from the pan.

Place the bowl over simmering water and gradually beat in the melted butter, a few drops at a time, and then in a thin stream as in making Hollandaise Sauce. Finish the sauce with the smaller amounts of tarragon and chervil, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a dash of lemon juice, if you like.

Note: Do not allow the sauce to become more than warm, or it is likely to separate. If that happens, add a couple of drops of cold water and whisk to bring it back together.

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