Bearnaise sauce

Perfect with steak, Ronnie Corbett shows how to magic up this tangy, tarragon flavoured sauce
Bearnaise sauce
  • Rating:
  • Effort: easy


For the reduction

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 6 roughly crushed black peppercorns

For the sauce

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 25 g unsalted butter, diced
  • 170 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon


1. First make the reduction. Put the white wine vinegar and white wine into a small saucepan and add the tarragon, parsley, chopped shallot and peppercorns. Cook down over a low heat until you are left with about 3 tablespoons of liquid. Leave on one side to cool slightly.

2. Melt 170g butter in a separate pan and pour the butter into a jug, discarding any milky residue at the bottom of the pan. Set on one side to cool until lukewarm.

3. Using a small whisk, beat the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl with 25g butter. Strain in the reduced vinegary liquid and whisk to combine.

4. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk continuously over a low heat until the egg yolks thicken its best to keep an eye on the bowl and not let it get too hot otherwise you could end up with scrambled egg yolks.

5. Take the bowl off the heat and while whisking, drizzle in the melted butter in a thin steady stream. Take care not to add to much butter it one go. If the sauce looks a bit thick add a dash of warm water to let it down. Stir in the tarragon and serve straight away. This sauce makes a tasty match with steak.

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