Steak with béarnaise sauce

Matt Tebbutt showcases first-rate rare-breed beef by cooking it simply and serving with a sumptuous sauce
By Matt Tebbutt
Steak with béarnaise sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the béarnaise

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 8 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 2 tbsp tarragon leaves
  • 200 g clarified butter
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • splash milk

For the steaks

  • 4 sirloin steaks
  • olive oil, for rubbing
  • knob butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled

To serve

  • rocket
  • roast tomatoes
  • sauté potatoes

Tips and Suggestions

Allow your steaks to come to room temperature (it should take about 20 minutes) before cooking, and remember to let the cooked steaks rest before serving, so that they are tender.

Try using English mustard instead of Dijon to give the béarnaise sauce more kick. If you prefer a runnier sauce, thin it just before serving with a little milk.


1. For the béarnaise: put the shallot, peppercorns, vinegar, wine and a little of the tarragon in a small saucepan and boil together over a high heat until the volume of liquid has reduced by three-quarters. Sieve to remove the peppercorns.

2. Meanwhile, have the clarified butter hot and ready. Put the egg yolks and vinegar reduction in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of gently steaming water. Whisk until the sauce begins to emulsify. Add the clarified butter a drop at a time, whisking between each addition. The sauce will start to thicken and turn a creamy colour after 5 minutes or so. If it splits, add a drop of hot water.

3. Once all the butter has been added, stir in the mustard, chop and stir in the rest of the tarragon, and season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Set aside while you cook the steaks.

4. For the steaks: heat a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat. Rub each steak with oil and season with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, lay the steaks in it, and add the butter and garlic. Cook the steaks until a light crust has formed on the underside (about 2 minutes). Continue cooking on this side for a further minute, turn the steaks. Leave to cook for 2-3 more minutes for rare meat (this will depend on the thickness of the steak). Allow to rest somewhere warm for a couple of minutes.

5. Carve the steaks or serve them whole with the rocket, tomatoes and potatoes, drizzling any remaining meat juices on top. Finish the plates by pouring the warm béarnaise sauce over the meat

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