Recipe courtesy of Geoffrey Zakarian

Classic French Bearnaise Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: 1 cup
  • Nutrition Info



  1. Tie the peppercorns and 2 tarragon sprigs in cheesecloth and secure with butcher's twine to make a sachet. In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, shallots and sachet and simmer over low heat until the liquid is evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool; discard the sachet.
  2. In a medium bowl set over a double boiler, whisk together the egg yolks and lemon juice. Heat, whisking constantly, until the yolks are pale and slightly thickened. Slowly ladle in the clarified butter, whisking constantly, until the sauce is emulsified. If sauce looks like it is getting too thick, add water by the tablespoon until you reach the desired consistency. Remove from the heat and add the chopped tarragon and 1 tablespoon of the shallots. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook’s Note

To clarify butter, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, without stirring, until the milk solids start to separate, 10 to 15 minutes. Skim off the foam, then slowly pour the clear yellow butter into a separate container, leaving any solids on the bottom behind.