Here's another alternative to mayonnaise, flavored with tarragon and shallots.
Bearnaise sauce is a variation on hollandaise, which is notoriously difficult to prepare, but this version is easy, foolproof, and fail-proof! The technique is similar to the one I use to make mayonnaise.
I combined two recipes: Serious Eat's recipe for immersion blender hollandaise, and James Peterson's recipe for bearnaise. The Serious Eats recipe made one cup, Peterson's made one quart. I split the difference and made one pint.
Original recipe: Foolproof Hollandaise in 2 Minutes
If you don't have an immersion blender, here is another foolproof way to make hollandaise
For New Year's Eve dinner, we had beef chateaubriande with green beans and bearnaise. The chateaubriande roasts at 375F for 20 minutes, and then rests for 10 minutes. I made the shallot-herb extract while the beef was cooking, and made the bearnaise emulsion while it was resting.
EASY Immersion Blender Bearnaise Sauce
- 3 medium shallots, minced
- 2 t. dried tarragon (if you use fresh, use 1/4 cup of the leaves stripped from the stems)
- 1 t. dried chervil
- 1 t. cracked peppercorns
- 3/4 c white wine
- 3/4 c. white vinegar
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 3 egg yolks, from medium or large eggs
- 3 t. cold water
- 1/2 t. himalayan pink salt
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine shallots, tarragon, chervil, peppercorns, white wine and white vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered and stirring occasionally, until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 20 minutes.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a small heat-proof pitcher.
Wipe out saucepan and add butter. Over medium heat, melt butter until foam subsides, about 5 minutes.
While the butter is melting, add the egg yolks, water and salt to a pint jar and get out your immersion blender.
When the foam has subsided on the butter, pour it into the pitcher with the shallot extract.
Insert the head of the immersion blender into the pint jar and turn it on. With the motor running, slowly pour the hot butter mixture into the yolks. The acid and heat will perfectly cook the yolks!
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Store any leftovers in the fridge.
If you try and reheat bearnaise, the emulsion will break, but you CAN use it as a spread instead of mayonnaise. Here's what it looks like right out of the fridge - as you can see, it IS spreadable!
On New Year's Day, my husband rolled the leftover beans in some sliced ham, reheated them in the oven, and then spooned the cold bearnaise over top. It melted slightly but didn't break, and he says it was delicious.
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