Bearnaise Sauce is wonderful on most types of seafood, and equally as good on meats and poultry.
In his Les Halles Cookbook Anthony Bourdain said something like, “Bearnaise can smell fear.” It’s true! If you haven’t made it before, be confident and pay attention, or the sauce will break on you. Pay careful attention to the bowl the sauce is in, if you need a towel to hold it, it’s probably too hot. You will learn an instinct as to when to pull the bowl from the heat after making it quite a few times.
In my humble opinion the best way to learn this sauce is to really mess it up once, you’ll make it right every time afterward.
Bearnaise Sauce Recipe
2 tsp Tarragon Vinegar
2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
3 Egg Yolks
2 tsp Finely Chopped Tarragon
1/2 Cup Clarified Butter, warm
Kosher Salt & Cayenne Pepper
1 Dash Hot Sauce
A few drops Worcestershire Sauce
Place the vinegar, lemon juice, and egg yolks in the top deck of a double boiler. The water in the lower deck should be hot but not boiling.
Whisk slowly until you see the yolks start to coagulate on the sides. If the pan gets too hot, remove it from the heat for a minute, whisking constantly.
Whisk while cooking, minding the bowl temperature, until the yolks are lighter in color and do not leave yellow streaks when the whisk goes through them. If you see any signs of scrambling, remove the bowl from the heat.
When the yolk/acid mixture is good and thick, remove from the heat, add the Tarragon, and slowly drizzle in the clarified butter, whisking constantly, until incorporated.
Add the hot and worcestershire sauces, and season to taste with the salt & cayenne. I also like to add a squeeze more of lemon juice here also.
If the sauce is a little too thick, you can thin it down with a few splashes of hot water.
Makes about 2/3 Cup