Did someone say French cuisine? The best bearnaise sauce recipe? Learn about bearnaise sauce, its origins, & how to incorporate it in your next dish.
Ah, béarnaise sauce. It sounds so fancy and sophisticated, but don’t be fooled! You don’t have to be a French chef master at whipping up this delicious sauce, but you’ll surely have people believing you are when they taste it. Something so simple and easy to make is sure to enhance the flavor of your dish, and you can give it a professional, luxurious flare with our stylish pans to use during the process.
Read on to learn what it is and how you can make it for yourself at home!
What is Béarnaise Sauce?
Béarnaise sauce is a delicious and creamy classic French sauce that is often made from a reduction of vinegar and wine mixed with shallots, tarragon, and (sometimes) chervil and thickened with egg yolks and butter. It’s typically served with meat, fish, eggs, or vegetables. Invented in 1836 by Chef Collinet at the opening of his restaurant in Paris, France, this decadent sauce has been leaving taste buds happy and satisfied for many ever since.
Béarnaise Sauce vs. Hollandaise Sauce
When you saw “béarnaise sauce,” you probably got it mixed up with hollandaise sauce. Both are similar at their core since they are sauces that are made with the emulsification of butter and egg yolks with a touch of acidity.
Beyond that, though, there are some key distinctions in terms of how they are made and used.
- It is known as one of the five French Mother Sauces.
- It is made with egg yolks, salt, lemon juice, and warm butter.
- In terms of appearance, this sauce is pale yellow in color and is also smooth, creamy, and rich.
- It is commonly served on Eggs Benedict, poached fish, and asparagus as a finishing sauce.
- It is a derivative of hollandaise sauce.
- It is made with shallots and fresh herbs and gets its acidity from white wine vinegar.
- In terms of appearance, béarnaise sauce is also pale yellow, with flecks of green herbs and a smooth and creamy texture.
- It is commonly served on grilled meat and fish.
So, How Do You Make It?
Before getting started, you’re going to want to make sure you have the best cookware, which is where our products come in. We can’t recommend our Sauce Pan enough to create this wonderful sauce! It can hold up to 3 quarts and is perfect for smaller gatherings of one or two people. And since we’re making a sauce to go on top of the main dish, that’s just the right size to make it in.
When it comes to béarnaise sauce, the thickness is truly up to you and your personal preference. Just like with any other sauce or soup, however, it can quickly and easily become too thick or thin, which can be frustrating to fix at the moment.
So then, how do you make it just right? The key to this is simpler than you’d think, and it involves the power of one invisible ingredient that every cook has readily available in their kitchen: heat.
Heat can transform every recipe, no matter how simple or complex, whether it be the temperature, texture, or even the flavor of the food. Of course, it’s more than just the heat source itself that’s important. Remember, energy is transferred from a heat source to colder foods, and to do that; we need the best heat conducting and retaining cookware we can find.
The Kitchen Essentials
Our products feature multiple layers of ceramic interior coatings, which are perfect for creating and maintaining a hot enough environment for your ingredients to do their magic in. The cookware is also complete with a stainless steel base and durable handles when moving it off the stovetop. And not to mention: it’s non-stick and made from non-toxic ceramic!
The last thing you want is to be scraping the sides of the pot, trying to get all the sauce out or even risking toxic chemicals entering your sauce. This promises a smooth and easy transfer of the sauce once it’s ready to be served, with no struggles, scraping, or wasting, and definitely no chemicals.
There are many different ways to make a béarnaise sauce. You may even find some recipes online that suggest making it using a blender. It’s not a bad method, and if you have no other choice, go for it. But if you want to make a sauce worthy of your beautiful kitchen, we highly recommend investing in our products, especially since the process of making it on a saucepan isn’t that difficult. Cooking it in a Sauce Pan may even simplify and ensure that everything goes smoothly with the emulsification process since that is the most important part.
For béarnaise sauce, in particular, you want to make sure all of the ingredients are the same temperature and that the timing of each step is right to guarantee successful emulsification, which is even more of a reason why our Sauce Pan would be the ideal tool to get you there.
And as a bonus, our cookware comes in various colors such as Cream, Gray, Perracotta (a combination of terracotta and pink), Navy, and Sage, which will really add a pop of color while you’re whipping up your fancy meal.
Tips for Emulsification:
Emulsification is important because many ingredients will not bind easily. It’s a tricky process at first—a dance, if you will—but you’ll get the hang of it soon enough with time and practice.
Here are some important aspects to keep in mind during the process:
- Make sure you are heating the egg yolks gently. If you heat it too fast, the sauce will come out granular. The emulsion of yolks deteriorates with age, so use fresh eggs for the best results.
- Add the melted butter very slowly and drop by drop at the beginning of the recipe. Once about ¼ of the butter has been incorporated, add the rest using a tablespoon.
- Use a steady, brisk pace when mixing.
- Be mindful that the emulsion doesn’t get too hot. Otherwise, it will begin to separate. If it does, just add an ice cube or one tablespoon of cold water and briskly whisk.
- Use water or stock to thin out the emulsion if it starts becoming too thick. If it still doesn’t thicken up, mix one tablespoon of lemon juice and half a tablespoon of the sauce in a separate bowl over heat and beat it until it comes together. Then, add the rest of the thin sauce, half a tablespoon at a time.
Time for the Recipe!
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, your stylish new saucepan, and prepared yourself for the emulsification process, you’re ready to get started on the real deal.
- Place the vinegar, shallots, black peppers, and one tablespoon of the tarragon leaves into your Sauce Pan above medium heat.
- Once it just reaches a boil, reduce it to a simmer for approximately five minutes or until only a few tablespoons of liquid are left.
- Remove from the stovetop and set aside to cool.
- Fill another small Sauce Pan with about an inch or two of water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Put the cooled shallot-vinegar-tarragon mixture that we set aside in Step 2 into a metal mixing bowl with a tablespoon of water and the egg yolks. Then, mix to combine.
- Turn the heat under the Sauce Pan of water down to the lowest setting, and put the mixing bowl above the pan. Be careful not to let it touch the water directly.
- Continue to whisk the yolks until they thicken. This process will take about five to seven minutes.
- And now, we begin emulsifying (don’t worry, you and your saucepan have this down!). Add and beat in the butter, one to two tablespoons at a time, whisk slowly and watch it emulsify.
- To ensure that the eggs don’t overcook, take the pan off the heat now and then.
- Add salt to taste, followed by the remaining tarragon leaves.
And there you have it! A delicious, creamy French masterpiece, made and ready to serve on a plate of fish or another grilled meat, all from the comfort of your home. Now, if you don’t end up using the sauce on the day of making it, don’t panic. You can always freeze the remainder, then whisk it back into shape with a bit of lemon juice or water if it needs to become thinner.
Just imagine the heads you will turn when your party guests smell the restaurant-quality sauce in the air. And of course, we know you won’t fall short on making the presentation complete with our aesthetically pleasing, modern style pans. It doesn’t get simpler and fancier than this!
Bearnaise And Its Cousin Take Some Skill To Make | Chicago Tribune
Do You Know Your French Mother Sauces? | Kitchn
The Invisible Ingredient in Every Kitchen | The New York Times
Ceramic Sauce Pan w Lid (3qt): Non-Toxic & Non-Stick | Caraway
Classic Bearnaise Sauce Recipe | The Spruce Eats