My favourite sauce ‘Bernies’

13 Aug


Béarnaise sauce or bernies sauce if your from golders green, is my absolute favourite sauce in the entire world of sauces. I especially love it on a steak or on steamed broccoli. So as I am in France while I wait for my Aussie visa, the spiritual home of bernies sauce I thought I would share with you my recipe for sauce béarnaise parfaite.

6 egg yolks
200g butter
A handful of tarragon (keep stalks)
A handful of chervil
1 shallot
50ml White wine vinegar
50ml water

Bernies is a derivative of hollandaise and is all about the emulsification of the fat (butter) and protein. (egg) It differs to a hollandaise in two ways the acid element in hollandaise is lemon juice in my béarnaise it is a tarragon, shallot, vinegar and water reduction. The other difference is the introduction of chopped tarragon and chervil to a béarnaise, where a hollandaise has no herbs.

First you will need to make your vinegar reduction get a small heavy based saucepan and combine the vinegar, water, a roughly chopped shallot and the tarragon stalks. Place on the heat and reduce by half then Strain and place to one side to cool. (You can make your own tarragon vinegar by feeding the stalks into a shop bought bottle of White wine vinegar)

You will need to whisk the egg yolks in a Pyrex bowl add a a pinch of salt and whisk in half of the vinegar reduction. You can correct the seasoning when the sauce is finished, by adding more vinegar and more salt & pepper. Chef’s have a saying you can always under season never over.

Now for the emulsification, mixing your soft or melted clarified butter into the eggs. Fussy head chefs have made me separate the butter milk from the fat before whisking into the egg. Let me clarify (no pun intended) this makes no difference to the end result like olive oil in the water when boiling pasta it has entirely no effect on the end result.

Now I have exorcised that ghost, you will need to make a ban Marie on your stove. A ban Marie is a cooking device where you get a pan of water and over it you place a Pyrex bowl with your sauce in and use the steam omitted by the pan of water to cook your sauce in the Pyrex bowl. Very important to be patient with a béarnaise or hollandaise, once on the heat you will need to constantly whisk add the butter gradually. It very important not to let the water in the ban marie BOIL or to touch the bottom of the bowl! Manage the ban marie if the water boils take the pan off the heat while continually whisking or else your bernies will cook too quickly and curdle.

Be patient you will notice the mixture start to thicken when the protein in the egg yolks is strengthen by fat in the butter. When the mixture begins getting thick like a good custard take off the heat add the chopped tarragon and chervil. Taste to correct the seasoning you might need to add some more of vinegar and some salt & pepper.

Your béarnaise sauce is ready to be served, this is my favourite sauce let me know what yours is and maybe I can give you a recipe.

Get your cook on,

Ollie x

%d bloggers like this: