Bearnaise Sauce

Serves: 8

There are a million Bearnaise Sauce recipes online and so here is the one millionth and first; oh, and it is Neil Perry’s.

Of course, the heart of Bearnaise Sauce is consistent across all its recipes so don’t get too excited. This Bearnaise will taste as good as any other classically cooked Bearnaise.

This said, I have had better, though I think that has been more about technique than anything. There used to be a restaurant in Crows Nest called La Grillade that my father took us to when we were kids and just how they got their Bearnaise to be so fluffy, I can only imagine.

But I’m not La Grillade and I don’t make Bearnaise for a living so this is Neil Perry’s version and I commend it to you.

Last time I served this was with a 240-day aged Angus fillet, potato gratin and beans with burnt butter and toasted almonds. You can imagine the effect.



250g unsalted butter, cut into cubes – bring to room temperature
2 eschalots, sliced
2 tarragon sprigs, 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon leaves
5 whole peppercorns
1/2 cup (125ml) white wine
1/2 cup tarragon vinegar (I substitute white wine vinegar)
3 egg yolks


  1. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat, add eschalots, tarragon sprigs, peppercorns, white wine and tarragon vinegar and reduce until 1/3 cup (80ml) remains.
  2. Put three egg yolks in a bowl that will sit comfortably over a saucepan. Strain the tarragon reduction and pour over the egg yolks, whisking to incorporate.
  3. Put the bowl over the saucepan of barely simmering water and start whisking.
  4. As it approaches the point at which it is fully cooked, the mixture will thicken by doubling or tripling in size.
  5. Once the sauce is thick, start adding three to four cubes of butter at a time, whisking to incorporate.
  6. When all the butter is incorporated, remove the bowl from the heat, add 2 tablespoons freshly chopped tarragon and check the seasoning.

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