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Béarnaise Recipe

Table Of Contents

Béarnaise sauce is a classic French sauce that’s perfect for dressing up steaks, fish, or even vegetables. It’s a derivative of hollandaise sauce, one of the five mother sauces in French cuisine, but is flavored with tarragon, shallots, and peppercorns. Here’s a straightforward recipe for you to try:


  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, plus more for garnish
  • 3-4 black peppercorns
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and warm
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Reduce the Flavor Base:
    • Combine the vinegar, wine, shallots, chopped tarragon, and peppercorns in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the mixture is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Strain out the solids and let the liquid cool slightly.
  2. Prepare the Egg Yolk Mixture:
    • In a heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in the cooled reduction a little at a time until well blended.
  3. Double Boiler Cooking:
    • Place the bowl over a pot of gently simmering water (make sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl). Continue to whisk the yolk mixture constantly until it starts to thicken, being careful not to let the eggs curdle.
  4. Add the Butter:
    • Gradually add the melted butter, a few tablespoons at a time, whisking constantly until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume.
  5. Season and Finish:
    • Remove from heat, season with salt, and strain the sauce if desired for a smoother texture. Stir in a little more fresh chopped tarragon before serving.
  6. Serve:
    • Serve the sauce warm with your choice of dishes. It pairs exceptionally well with steak, poached eggs, or steamed vegetables.


  • Keep the water under the bowl, simmering gently to avoid overheating the egg yolks.
  • If the sauce starts to separate or curdle, you can try whisking in a few drops of cold water to bring it back together.

When making Béarnaise sauce, choosing the right dry white wine can enhance the overall flavor of the sauce. Here are some recommendations for the types of dry white wine you could use:

  1. Sauvignon Blanc – This wine is crisp and has a good acidity level, which works well to balance the richness of the sauce.
  2. Chardonnay – Opt for a unoaked or lightly oaked Chardonnay so it doesn’t overpower the delicate flavors of the tarragon and shallots.
  3. Pinot Grigio – Known for its light and clean taste, Pinot Grigio is another excellent choice that won’t dominate the other ingredients.

It’s best to avoid wines that are too sweet or too strongly flavored, as they can clash with the sauce’s flavor profile. When cooking, also consider using a wine that you would enjoy drinking, as this will generally yield the best results in your sauce.

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