How To Make Bearnaise Sauce


  • 350g butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 8 pepercorns, crushed
  • 1 tarragon sprig
  • ½ bay leaf
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 tbsp tarragon vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dry white wine
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp chopped chervil
  • 1 tbsp chopped chives



  • Prepare some clarified butter by melting 350g butter in a small heavy based saucepan over a low heat. When the butter has started to foam, take it off the heat and leave it to stand for a few minutes so that the milk solids sinks to the bottom of the pan. Line a sieve with muslin cloth and pour the butter through it into a bowl: you should have 200g for the bearnisesauce. Keep it warm in a saucepan.
  • In a separate small saucepan (do not use an aluminium one) combine the shallots, peppercorn, tarragon sprig, bay leaf, thyme, tarragon vinegar and white wine. Bring to the boil and allow the liquid to reduce to a third of its original volume, being careful not to let it boil dry.
  • Strain the vinegar mixture into a heatproof  bowl, discarding the flavorings.
  • Place the bowl over a pan of steaming water. Add the egg yolks and whisk over a gentle heat until the mixture is thick and creamy.
  • Take the bowl off the heat and slowly whisk in the warm clarified butter adding a splash of water if the sauce gets too thick. Season the bearnise with a little salt stir in the chopped herbs and set aside.