Sauce Béarnaise …

Has always been a little intimidating but not this recipe. I moved past the perfectionist part and put it together like a country gravy, not exactly, but you get the idea.

Bearnaise Sauce

If you get caught up in the perfection of a sauce béarnaise you may never try your hand at it. Give this simple no fuss recipe a try, and see if it passes your family’s taste test. It adds an amazing touch to a delicious steak.

My father was known for his delicious barbecued steaks in the day of charcoal. Another family member had mastered pan-searing. Steak was a pretty common entree on our table. And we were pretty critical of the cooking.

Here are a few hints I was taught along the way that may be useful.
-Use a seasoned cast iron skillet or a heavy bottom skillet.
-The skillet must be hot.
-Use the fat you have trimmed off the steak to grease the bottom of the skillet. Use a fork to run the fat around the bottom of the heated pan and then remove it.
-I often use a skillet so well seasoned no grease or oil is needed to avoid sticking. If you try this be aware the meat will stick until it is seared. Wait a minute or two, then turn it over.
-You may need to turn the heat down slightly after you add the steak to avoid too much browning. Adjusting the heat as you go may be necessary.
-Turning the steak more than once or twice will not dry out the steak.
-I was taught to salt the heated skillet rather than oil to prevent sticking. This method may no longer be in vogue.


Makes about 2/3 cup sauce, enough for 3-4 small filets.

Start the sauce at the same time you begin the steak. The steak whether rare or well done requires a rest after cooking to avoid losing juice with the first slice. The steak and the sauce will come together at the same time.

1/4 Cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup white wine
1 and 1/2 Tablespoon minced shallot
Scant 1 teaspoon dried tarragon or 3 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon
3 Teaspoons minced fresh parsley or chervil
3 Egg yolks
1/2 Cup butter, melted
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste, start with 1/4 t each


Place the wine, vinegar, shallot and herbs into a small saucepan (Saucepan should be large enough to accommodate a small hand mixer.) Simmer until reduced by half.

Beat egg yolks in a separate small bowl until they are frothy then creamy. Set aside.

Melt the butter, microwave is okay. Set aside.

When the saucepan contents of wine and vinegar, etc is reduced by half let cool slightly. Give the egg yolks an extra beating to the creamy texture. Add the egg yolks to the saucepan, no heat, as you are using the beater to mix well. Add about 1/3 the melted butter the same way you have added the egg yolks, mixing well. Once this is mixed add the remainder of the butter. The sauce may look slightly thin but will quickly thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set the saucepan near stove to remain warm before use.

Rich buttery tartness with herbs. Love it! Sauce Béarnaise.

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