How to Make Béarnaise Sauce
A classic French daughter sauce of the Mother Hollandaise, Béarnaise blends a white wine reduction, tarragon, egg yolks, and melted butter to make a creamy, unctuous sauce that pairs perfectly with steak.
Béarnaise Sauce Recipe
- ¼ cup champagne or white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced tarragon leaves
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 egg yolks (from large eggs)
- ¾ cup butter, melted (clarified or ghee)
- 1 tablespoon water, as needed
- 2.5-3lb single bone ribeye roast or bone-in ribeye steak
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 4-5 thyme sprigs
Quick Blender Preparation:
Blend all ingredients in a blender on high until smooth, reduce speed to low and slowly drizzle in hot melted clarified butter or ghee until the emulsion has formed, add room temperature water to the blender to adjust consistency if too thick. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Add vinegar, wine, shallot, black pepper, and tarragon to a small sauce pot and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and reduce until approximately 2 tablespoons are left in the pot. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Make a bain-marie, or double boiler, with a small sauce pot of barely simmering water and a metal mixing bowl that can sit comfortably on top without the bottom touching the simmering water.
In the mixing bowl, whisk yolks and vinegar mixture for 2-3 minutes off the heat until slightly thickened, and then 2-3 mins on the double boiler until almost double in volume, 4-6 minutes total.
Slowly drizzle the melted butter, one drop at a time until an emulsion is established, then you can pour in a slow but steady stream of the butter in while whisking. Occasionally take the bowl on and off the double boiler while whisking to prevent overcooking (you don’t want scrambled eggs). You want it to be thickened to nappe, or coating the back of a spoon. If your mixture is too thick, whisk in 1 tablespoon of room temp water at a time until you have reached the proper consistency — that is a consistency slightly thinner than mayonnaise.
Keep just warm on the stove top off to the side while you prepare your steak. If it cools or gets too hot the emulsion will break, so try to time the sauce to be done just before you cook your steaks and whisk occasionally to keep a skin from forming on the top.
Bring your steak to room temp and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper.
Sear in a skillet over medium heat 3-4 minutes per sides adding 2 tablespoons of butter, a crushed clove of garlic, and a few thyme sprigs to the pan after you flip to the second side. Baste the steak with melted butter until you have reached an internal temperature of 125 degrees F. Rest for 10-15 minutes, slice and spoon the béarnaise sauce onto your steak as desired.
Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook the steaks for 3-4 minutes on the first side. Flip, then add butter, garlic, and thyme to the pan. Baste the steaks with melted butter until you have reached an internal temperature of 125 degrees F. Rest for 10-15 minutes, slice, and spoon the béarnaise sauce onto your steak as desired.