Sauce Béarnaise

You will need for one batch of 250 ml. of Sauce Béarnaise:

- 3 shallots very finely chopped.
- 50 ml vinegar.
- 30 ml white wine.
- 3 Tbsp. finely chopped tarragon, estragon in French.
- 2 Tbsp. finely chopped chervil, cerfeuil in French.
- 2 pinches of white pepper.
- Pinch of salt.
- 125 gms of unsulted butter.
- 3 egg yolks.
- Combine shallots, vinegar, white wine, 2 of the 3 Tbsp. of tarragon, 1 of the 2 Tbsp. of chervil, the white pepper, and salt in a heavy based saucepan and heat on low heat for about 10 to 12 minutes until the quantity is reduced by two thirds.
- Remove saucepan from heat and let cool.
- In the meantime melt the butter (in the micro-wave oven if you wish) without cooking it...just melt it.
- Add the egg yolks to the reduced mixture above, a little bit of water, and wip energetically over soft heat.
- Away from the fire, start adding extremely slowly the hot butter while wisking. This is where you have to be careful. Do not be in a hurry to pour the butter the slower the better so it does not curdle.
- Once the sauce is made, add the rest of the tarragon and chervil before serving.
- The success of this sauce is when a nice emulsion, similar to the texture of mayonaise is obtained. If it curdles then something went wrong.
- If it does curdle, start from scratch till it is time to add the butter at which time, instead, you start adding the curdled sauce.
- Normally the sauce should be put in a cheese cloth and two persons opposite each other twist the material in opposite directions to squeeze the clean sauce through the pores of the cloth.
- However you can serve it as it is with all the herbs in it. It is equally good.

August 15th 2015

  • The sauce did curdle on us today when we were preparing for Maria's name day dinner.  So we started from scratch being very careful of the heat. Never put the ready sauce on a marble surface because it will curdle.  The change in  temperature will make it curdle. Furthermore  when starting to add the butter or the already curdled sauce, it should be done away from the heat but still on the double boiler being very careful not to have the water boiling. If you see signs of curdling add one egg yolk. It will come back together.
  •  If in case you do not have any Tarragon and Chervil you can add fresh thyme and sage. Use your imagination. 
  • Also if you cannot find shallots you can use only the white part of the green onion.
  • Everybody loved it. The mixture of the herbs with white wine, and vinegar smell beautiful right from the start!



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