Béarnaise sauce

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By: Tamasin Day-Lewis From: Tamasin Day Lewis

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This recipe is classed as intermediate

Rating 2.91 / 5 (55 votes)

Prep time:
20 min
Cook time:
15 min

A classic egg-based sauce from Tamasin Day-Lewis - rich, buttery and pungently flavoured with vinegar, shallot, peppercorns and tarragon


1. First clarify the butter. Put it in a small saucepan over low heat. When the milky sediment rises to the top, either skim off the sediment with a spoon or pour the butter through a small muslin-lined sieve set over a bowl.

2. Put the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the tarragon, the shallot and crushed peppercorns in a small, heavy-based saucepan. Simmer gently until reduced by half.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

3. Add the egg yolks and cold water to the vinegar mixture. Set the pan over low heat and whisk continuously for about 10 minutes until the sauce emulsifies. Do not allow it to reach boiling point.

4. Remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the clarified butter a little at a time. Season to taste, then push the sauce through a fine sieve.

5. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of tarragon, the chervil and lemon juice to taste. Serve immediately.


  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped tarragon
  • 30 g finely chopped shallots
  • 10 peppercorns, crushed
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chervil, (optional)
  • good squeeze of lemon juice
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper

Tips and suggestions

Béarnaise sauce is wonderful with grilled steak but it is also delicious just with good crusty bread dipped into it

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Latest Comment


We're sorry to hear that this recipe did not work for you - the trick is to whisk the mixture continuously and be careful not to let it reach boiling point.

To incorporate a bain marie, whisk the egg mixture in a small heatproof bowl. Once combined, sit the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and whisk continuously until the sauce emulsifies. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the clarified butter a little at a time.

Anna -Good Food Anna -Good Food  Posted 14 Aug 2012 12:21 PM

This is a disgrace ..dont waste your time as i did cooking this ...it cannot be done in the way suggested it needs a double boiler ..all ingredients turned to scrambled egg bernaise ...this site should check there recipies actualy are acurate

zedZ92089 zedZ92089  Posted 13 Aug 2012 5:27 PM