A variation of Hollandaise Sauce, Béarnaise Sauce is a classic French sauce made with clarified butter emulsified in egg yolks, white wine vinegar, shallots, chervil (herb), tarragon (herb) and peppercorns. This creamy and luxurious sauce is very flavourful and pairs well with fish, vegetables and simply cooked meats. It is a requirement for Veal Oscar and is a traditional accompaniment for steak especially the Chateaubriand tenderloin beef meal for two.
Chervil and either white wine or dry vermouth are optional ingredients that simply increase the intensity of the original flavours. A variation of Béarnaise is Sauce Choron, which omits the tarragon and adds tomato purée.
Béarnaise Sauce is named for Bearn, France, the birthplace of its creator, Chef Jules Colette.
Fare Play: Béarnaise, Revisited
Why this staple French sauce is at the heart of so many culinary debates.
“I whipped the egg yolks above a water bath and watched as the butter melted in a small pot nearby. When the eggs reached fluffy but firm and cohesive, I carefully whisked in the butter in small increments. I divided the buttery sauce into two bowls and added some of the pure tarragon reduction to one and the tarragon- chervil reduction to the other. I quickly seared two pieces of turbot and placed one on top of each version of the Béarnaise….”