Bearnaise Sauce is definitely over the top in calorific terms, but I much prefer it to pure Hollandaise. The vinegar cuts through the richness of the butter, and the shallot and tarragon give extra flavour. This dish has to be made swiftly as the béarnaise sauce is best served warm. If there are two of you in the kitchen, all the better, as one can make the béarnaise and the other can griddle. Otherwise make the béarnaise first as you need to concentrate on that and then keep it warm whilst you griddle.
- In a small saucepan place one shallot, chopped as finely as you can, a small handful of fresh tarragon (chopped) and 50ml of white wine vinegar.
- Boil this rapidly until the vinegar had evaporated to just 1 tbsp of liquid.
- Make the hollandaise as below, adding the vinegar mixture at the beginning when you whisk the egg yolks.
- 225g unsalted butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 tbsps water
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt and white pepper
- a pinch of cayenne (optional)
- Melt the butter over very low heat without stirring and skim off the solids floating on top.
- Fill a pan about half way with water and bring it to just below boiling. Place the egg yolks in a Pyrex bowl that fits just inside the pan. Whisk in the two tbsps of water and place the bowl on the pan of simmering water. Continually whisk until egg yolks thicken and lighten (about 5 minutes).
- Remove from heat and very gradually pour in the clarified butter continually whisking. Whisk in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.