The key to a perfect Bearnaise Sauce isn't years of experience, it's just a blender. Lucky for us, this bearnaise tastes like it came out of a professional kitchen, yet is as fool-proof as a recipe can get! It's creamy, rich, buttery, slightly tangy, herbaceous, and speckled with bright green bits of tarragon.
If you want a lusciously smooth, creamy Bearnaise Sauce that doesn't break, this is it. We aren't taking the traditional route of making Bearnaise Sauce by hand, and we're also going to skip out on some "key ingredients" as well, but you'll find when it comes to making a quick and easy Bearnaise Sauce for steak night, nothing beats this quick-fix take on the classic.
This sauce is the perfect addition to dinner parties or even a weeknight dinner, if you're looking to up your game a little. It's great for steaks, of course, but is also delicious served over fish or asparagus. Consider it the dinnertime answer to hollandaise sauce, although... this Bearnaise Sauce would be pretty amazing over our eggs florentine.
A SIMPLE APPROACH
Restaurant-quality dishes do not have to require a commercial kitchen, expensive ingredients, and a full staff. We have found that this recipe can be majorly simplified without losing a bit of its flavor or class.
Your blender (or food processor) makes such easy work of an otherwise complicated sauce. In order for your Bearnaise Sauce not to break, it is extremely important that it is properly emulsified. Acids and oil do not naturally bond together (think oil and vinegar), but thanks to the fast blades of the blender and its vigorous mixing capabilities, we can get a stellar, perfectly emulsified sauce with the mere press of a button.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Bearnaise has been a well-loved staple of French cuisine for well over a hundred years. It made its debut in the Le Pavillon Henri IV restaurant and obtained its name from the province of Bearn, which is the birthplace of Henry IV, the king of France in the late 1500s and into 1600s.
The sauce was originally created by a chef by the name of Jean-Louis Françoise-Collinet, and is considered a secondary sauce to Hollandaise, one of the five "mother sauces" of French cuisine, the others being Tomate, Velouté, Espagnole, and Bechamel.
So, not only is Bearnaise super versatile, decedent, and rich, but now you know that it possesses a rich history as well!
HOW TO MAKE BEARNAISE SAUCE
You're about to find out this recipe requires fewer ingredients than a classic Bearnaise Sauce, yet still delivers a great big bang of flavor. Trust us -- you won't be missing the chervil or the shallot one bit.
Most Bearnaise Sauce recipes kick off with a white wine reduction featuring a medley of white wine, vinegar, shallot, and tarragon. For time and simplicity's sake, we're going to go ahead and skip this phase of the recipe altogether. Remember, this Bearnaise Sauce is a quick-fix rendition of a French mother sauce, and after one taste, you'll see why we're okay taking the easy way out.
Our recipe begins with egg yolks and hot water in either a small blender or a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. The hot water will help the yolks to thicken up.
Once you've got these ingredients in place, secure the lid and blend together for 30 seconds straight or until the yolks have visibly thickened.
At this point, you'll want to have unsalted butter, melted, still hot, and ready for the pouring. You can melt your butter either in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave-safe pitcher covered with plastic wrap for 30-45 seconds. Also, please notice I didn't say clarified butter -- we're skipping that step too. When I said this Bearnaise Sauce was going to be easy, I really meant it.
Once you have your butter ready, remove the funnel or feed tube from your blender or food processor and very slowly stream in the butter with the motor running. As soon as most of the butter has been incorporated, you'll begin to see a gorgeous pale yellow sauce.
Now in comes out flavoring agents. Classical bearnaise recipes call for both tarragon and chervil. Ours has been simplified to tarragon alone. However, if you'd like to use chervil as well, simply add in about a teaspoon or 2. You'll add in the chopped fresh tarragon, as well as some fresh lemon juice.
Lemon juice is inexpensive and easy to obtain, but if you're looking to make a Béarnaise Sauce with a bit more authenticity, splurge on a bottle of tarragon vinegar and use a tablespoon of that in place of the lemon. As far as the pepper goes, you can use black pepper or cayenne pepper for your sauce.
Add all of these ingredients to the butter-yolk mixture, secure the lid once more, and blend for a few seconds more.
6 RECIPES TO ENJOY WITH BEARNAISE SAUCE
This Bearnaise Sauce is every bit as delicious as one you would get at a steakhouse, yet it is incredibly easy to make!
- 1 cup hot melted unsalted butter
- 2 large egg yolks room temperature
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- Juice of half a lemon (or 1 tablespoon of tarragon vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- Pinch Cayenne pepper
Have ready melted butter and set aside.
Add egg yolks and hot water to a blender or small food processor fitted with a blade attachment.
Secure the lid and process until thickened, about 30 seconds. Remove the funnel and drizzle in hot butter with the motor still running. Cover with a towel and continue to process until pale white and thickened once more.
Add lemon juice, tarragon, salt, and cayenne, pulse, and serve. Makes 1 cup.