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Published February 11, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Learn how easy it is to make a homemade béarnaise sauce using classic French techniques that is amazing on beef and vegetables. You won’t believe just how flavorful this traditional sauce is and how good it is on many different food items.
Béarnaise is a traditional French sauce that stems from Hollandaise, which is 1 of the 5 mother sauces. It is a combination of whisked egg yolks with pepper, tarragon, and vinegar with clarified butter to make a full-fat buttery sauce that goes excellent with meat, fish, vegetables, and eggs.
The main kitchen items you will need for this recipe are a sauté pan, a pot, a metal bowl, a ladle, and a whisk.
Béarnaise Sauce Ingredients
- Butter – You will need clarified butter or ghee for this recipe.
- Shallots – Peel and small-diced shallots work perfect for this.
- Vinegar – White wine vinegar is most classically used.
- Tarragon – Fresh stems and leaves of tarragon is needed.
- Pepper – Crush peppercorns is what you’ll want.
- Eggs – You will only need the egg yolks for this sauce.
- Lemon – Fresh squeezed lemon juice will help make the sauce bright and keep thickness consistency.
- Garnishes – Fresh chopped parsley and tarragon, as well as lemon juice, salt, and ground cayenne pepper are used for garnish at the end.
How to Make a Béarnaise Sauce from Scratch
Use these step-by-step procedures for making this delicious Béarnaise sauce from scratch:
Add the shallots, tarragon, peppercorns, and vinegar to a medium-size sauté pan.
Cook over low heat until the amount of liquid is reduced by three-fourths or about 1 tablespoon is left.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl over a double boiler over low heat.
Add the egg yolks to the bowl.
Whisk vigorously until it becomes thick and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove the bowl from heat and slowly ladle in clarified butter until the sauce becomes thick.
Strain the sauce through a chinois or a fine-mesh strainer.
Season with salt, cayenne, lemon juice, and parsley, and mix until combined. Serve or hold for up to 90 minutes.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: You can make this sauce up to 90 minutes ahead of time.
How to Store: Cover and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How to Reheat: Add the sauce back to a double boiler and whisk in a room temp egg yolk and a few tablespoons of hot water to help revive the sauce.
Chef Notes + Tips
- If the sauce starts becoming too thick during or before adding in the clarified butter, whisk in a little bit of lemon juice or warm water.
- When whisking the egg yolks in the double boiler, take care to whisk vigorously or they will scramble. If they start to, you can save the sauce by immediately removing the bowl from the double-boiler.
- You may use less butter as it may thicken with less than the recipe calls for.
More Sauce Recipes
Homemade Béarnaise Sauce Recipe
- ½ peeled and small diced shallot
- ¼ teaspoons crushed peppercorns
- 2 ounces white distilled vinegar
- 2 roughly chopped tarragon stems and leaves
- 3 egg yolks
- ¾ cup clarified butter
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
- salt to taste
- cayenne pepper to taste
- lemon juice to taste
- Add the shallots, tarragon stems and half the leaves, peppercorns, and vinegar to a medium-size sauté pan.
- Cook over low heat until the amount of liquid is reduced by three -fourths or about 1 tablespoon is left.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl over a double boiler over low heat.
- Add the egg yolks to the bowl.
- Whisk vigorously until it becomes thick and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and slowly ladle in the clarified butter a few tablespoons at a time while vigorously whisking until the sauce becomes thick.
- Strain the sauce through a chinois or a fine-mesh strainer.
- Season with salt, cayenne, lemon-juice, parsley, and chopped tarragon, and mix until combined. Serve or hold for up to 90 minutes.