Béarnaise sauce

Béarnaise sauce
This very tasty sauce, flavoured with tarragon, chervil and shallot, with its hint of acidity, is perfect for grilled fish or meats. Its well-known as a difficult sauce, but here are all the tips that you need to succeed.
298K 14 4.3
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Last modified on: May 22th 2016

Keywords for this recipe:SauceTraditionalFrenchTarragonChervilVinegar

For 6 people, you will need:

Change to the quantities for: 2 people 3 people 6 people 12 people 18 people

How long does it take?

Time required for this recipe:
PreparationCookingStart to finish
36 min.30 min.1 hour 6 min.
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Step by step recipe

Stage 1 - 10 min.
Béarnaise sauce : Photo of step #1
Peel and chop finely 1 shallot.

Chop tarragon and chervil finely.

Reserve one teaspoon of chopped herbs for garnishing.

Stage 2 - 1 min.
Béarnaise sauce : Photo of step #2
Put shallot and herbs in a small pan, salt and pepper generously.

Stage 3 - 15 min.
Béarnaise sauce : Photo of step #3
Pour in 100 ml white (spirit) vinegar and 100 ml dry white wine.

Reduce over low heat until you are left with about 1/5 of the original volume.

Stage 4 - 3 min.
Béarnaise sauce : Photo of step #4
Pour the contents of the pan into a chinois or a strainer, and squeeze herbs to extract the juices.

Stage 5
Béarnaise sauce : Photo of step #5
You should get only 2 to 4 tablespoons of this tasty liquid which is the base for your sauce.

This base could be made several days beforehand, and kept in a sealed jar in the fridge.

Stage 6 - 5 min.
Béarnaise sauce : Photo of step #6
On the day, melt 250 g butter, remove the foam which rises to the top and discard it.

Your goal is to clarify the butter, removing as far as possbile the white impurities (whey) which will be left on the bottom.

Leave to cool.

Stage 7 - 5 min.
Béarnaise sauce : Photo of step #7
Prepare a bain-marie.

Put 2 egg yolks, sauce base, and 1 pinch flour in the bowl over the bain-marie.

Stage 8 - 10 min.
Béarnaise sauce : Photo of step #8
Put over low heat, and beat to form a sabayon.

Stage 9
Béarnaise sauce : Photo of step #9
Continue to beat until it thickens, and "holds" the whisk.

Stage 10
Béarnaise sauce : Photo of step #10
Then add the melted butter, a little at a time, while beating continously.

Stage 11 - 15 min.
Béarnaise sauce : Photo of step #11
Your Béarnaise will develop its texture. Continue until all the butter is added, apart from the very last bit in the container with all the impurities (discard).

Stage 12 - 2 min.
Béarnaise sauce : Photo of step #12
And finally add the spoonful of herbs.

Serve without too much delay. If your dish is not ready, leave the sauce to wait in the bain-marie, not too hot, with a lid.


Some technical words: Béarnaise is a sauce of the warm emulsified kind (like hollandaise and mousseline), which means a hot base, here a well-flavoured sabayon, where butter is added to get this smooth texture.

Usually chefs make bearnaise in a different way: everything in a single pan, without a bain-marie. Faster, but more difficult.


A few minutes, not more.

Nutritional information

Whole recipe
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
2,067 Kcal or 8,654 Kj9 gr7 gr223 gr
103 %3 %1 %34 %
Per 100 g
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
386 Kcal or 1,616 Kj2 gr1 gr42 gr
19 %1 %<1 %6 %
Per person
Energetic valueProteins CarbohydratesFats
344 Kcal or 1,440 Kj1 gr1 gr37 gr
17 %1 %<1 %6 %
% are calculated relative to a Recommended Dietary Intake or RDI of 2000 k-calories or 8400 k-joules by day for a woman (change to a man).

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More recipes?

This recipe uses (among others)
ButterButter: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Sesame cookies, X-Files cookies, Scrambled eggs with butter-fried bread and fresh spinach, Sweet pastry, Caribbean upside-down cake, ... All
Dry white wineDry white wine: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Spaghetti with mussels and basil, Quiche Bretonne, Spaghetti with mushrooms, Blanquette of veal, Fish "à la Bordelaise", ... All
White (spirit) vinegarWhite (spirit) vinegar: You can check-out other recipes which use it, like for example: Poached eggs, How to prepare corn salad, Artichoke hearts forestier , Beurre blanc sauce, How to prepare sorrel, ... All
Egg yolkEgg yolk: You can get more informations, or check-out other recipes which use it, for example: Spaghetti with smoked salmon, Thin endive tart, Chicken breasts in a potato crust, Crème de foie gras, Chocolate mousse, ... All

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