Easier Béarnaise Sauce

August 14, 2018
Photo by Julia Gartland
Author Notes

In culinary school, béarnaise was one of the classical French sauces that I often had trouble with, despite my many spirited attempts. It’s classically made with egg yolks whisked over a double boiler, while drizzling in a steady stream of clarified butter. (A lot more difficult than it sounds.)

But then I found this radical béarnaise technique in a video featuring Chef Peter Goossens of Hof van Cleve restaurant. It takes a fraction of the time and effort to make, and my weekday dinners have never been the same since. —Yi Jun Loh

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Makes approximately 1 cup of sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 sprigs tarragon, roughly chopped
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened at room temperature
In This Recipe
  1. Place the white wine vinegar, minced shallot, and half of the chopped tarragon in a saucepan. Heat this on a medium-low flame for 5-10 minutes, until the shallots are sweated and the liquid has reduced by about half. Strain out the solids, and replace the concentrated liquid back into the saucepan and let it cool to room temperature.
  2. Add the egg yolks, water, vegetable oil, and salt into the saucepan with the concentrated vinegar, and heat over a medium-low flame while whisking vigorously. The goal here is to whisk the eggs to a fluffy, custard-like consistency, which should take around 3-5 minutes. Once you see it start to steam, be extra vigilant as you don’t want to overcook the sauce, lest it’ll turn into scrambled eggs! You can take your pan off and on the heat to better control the cooking.
  3. When the sauce thickens and reaches the desired consistency, add in the tablespoon of butter and the rest of the chopped tarragon, and whisk until the butter dissolves.
  4. The sauce is best served immediately, but can hold well for 30 minutes to an hour. It’s classically paired with steak, but can go well with fish or even grilled vegetables!

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Engineer + cook + food blogger. All about cross-cultural cooking, funky-fresh ferments, and abusing alliteration.