Bérnaise Sauce

Bérnaise Sauce - Alex Guarnaschelli
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This sauce is such a classic and goes with everything from steak to fish to roasted vegetables. Think about Béarnaise in a new place. It has eggs so that could be the protein you dollop on vegetables to make a main course meal!


March 1, 2021

It’s all about finding that fluffy, sweet spot between raw, undercooked eggs and overcooked scrambled eggs; the sauce lives in the middle of these two extremes. I love the acidity and flavors of the tarragon and chervil. The stems of the herbs get infused in the vinegar mix; it’s the spark plug of acidity for this whole sauce and what distinguishes Béarnaise from it’s lemony cousin: Hollandaise Sauce. The leaves are dropped in the sauce at the very end, giving a grassy and sweet note that rounds out the eggs, butter and vinegar.

Bérnaise Sauce - Alex Guarnaschelli

Bérnaise Sauce

Course: Side Dish
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  • cup dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 medium shallots sliced into ¼ inch rounds
  • 6 sprigs tarragon stemmed
  • 4 sprigs fresh chervil stemmed
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • ½ cup clarified butter
  • Kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper


Make the reduction:

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the white wine, shallots, tarragon stems, and chervil stems. Simmer the mixture over medium heat until it cooks down by about two-thirds (the reduced mixture will be 2 to 3 tablespoons), 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and discard the herb stems and set the reduction aside.

Cook the eggs:

  • In a metal bowl that can fit over a pot of simmering water (or the top of a double boiler), combine the egg yolks with 1 tablespoon cool water. Off the heat, whisk to blend until it gets frothy, 1-2 minutes. Place the bowl on top of the pot of water and cook, whisking constantly, until the eggs are thickened, 5-8 minutes. Take care not to allow the egg mixture to form a crust on the edges of the bowl. Whisk constantly to avoid uneven cooking. Don’t rush this step because the sauce needs to be based on fluffy and COOKED eggs! Keep the heat low, as well, to avoid overheating and scrambling the eggs.

Finish the sauce:

  • Remove the bowl from the heat and place on top of a kitchen towel to keep it from tipping over as you whisk. Little by little, whisk in the clarified butter. When all the butter is added, whisk in 2 tablespoons of the wine reduction, a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper. Chop the reserved tarragon and chervil leaves and stir them into the sauce. Taste for seasoning. Add more of the reduction if acidity is still needed.

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