I was never a sauce person before he came along. The sauce I was most familiar with through my childhood was ketchup, which I still believe goes with absolutely everything. The idea of making sauces that didn’t get squeezed, poured, or scooped out of a bottle was (and still is) an event. Which brings me to this subject of this post: béarniase sauce. I mean, it even sounds complicated and snooty, especially with the aigu (acute accent). But we were having steak, and steak with béarniase sauce is his favorite at Halls Chophouse. That was enough of a reason for me – I fully understood that there was no way I could remotely compete with the actual sauce, which actually took away most of the pressure.
In short, béarniase sauce is a rich sauce made with and emulsion of clarified butter and egg yolks, flavored with lemon, shallot, and tarragon. It was delicious. And, the best part is, this recipe makes about a cup, so there is plenty left for tomorrow day’s eggs, fries, fish – anything that needs a little oomph. The recipe calls for raw egg yolks, so I recommend using pasteurized eggs, which you can buy (for a pretty price) or do yourself.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, sliced into cubes
- 3 Tbsp. minced shallots
- 2 Tbsp Champagne or white wine vinegar
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped tarragon
- Melt a small amount of butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add shallots, salt, and pepper. Briefly stir and then stir in vinegar. Reduce heat to medium low and sauté until vinegar is evaporated (about 3 minutes). Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 5 more minutes until tender.
- Fill a food processor or blender with warm water. (Warming the appliance you will be making the sauce in helps the emulsion process.) Melt the butter in a saucepan until butter is foamy, then transfer to a liquid measuring cup.
- Drain warmed food processor/blender and dry well. Combine egg yolks, lemon juice, and 1 Tbsp. warm water in the processor. Blend until smooth. While still blending, gradually pour in melted butter in a thin stream. Try not to pour in the foamy milk solids. Continue blending for 2-3 minutes. Pour sauce into a serving bowl, stir in shallots and tarragon. Season with more salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Let it stand at room temperature (max: 1 hour) until use.
***When reusing, a few seconds in the microwave will bring it back to a proper consistency.