Michel Roux's bearnaise sauce

(58 ratings)

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Michel Roux Snr.'s bearnaise sauce
Michel Roux Snr.'s bearnaise sauce
  • Serves: 6

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

  • Total time:

    (plus cooling time)
  • Skill level: Master chef

  • Costs: Mid-price

This creamy, herby sauce is the perfect accompaniment to your steak dinner and is well worth the effort


  • 2tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3tbsp snipped tarragon
  • 30g shallot, finely chopped
  • 10 peppercorns, crushed
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 250g freshly clarified butter (melted butter with the milk solids and water removed), cooled to tepid
  • 2tbsp snipped chervil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Watch our video on how to cook the perfect steak


  1. Combine the wine vinegar, 2tbsp snipped tarragon, the shallot and peppercorns in a small, heavy-based saucepan and reduce by half over a low heat. Set aside to cool.
  2. When the vinegar reduction is cold, add the egg yolks and 3tbsp cold water. Set the pan over a low heat and whisk continuously, making sure that the whisk reaches right down into the bottom of the pan. As you whisk, gently increase the heat; the sauce should emulsify slowly and gradually, becoming oily after 8-10 mins. (Do not let it become hotter than 65C.)
  3. Turn off the heat and whisk the clarified butter into the sauce, a little at a time.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and pass the sauce through a conical sieve into another pan. Stir in the rest of the tarragon, the chervil and lemon juice. Check the seasoning and serve at once.

This recipe is taken from Michel Roux Sauces, Quadrille Publishing Ltd, RRP 14.99, available from Amazon

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  • 3
(58 ratings)

Your comments

Peter Thomas

Has anyone actually tried this? It didn't separate, but "juice of half a lemon"? I had a very small lemon, but the juice of half completely overwhelmed the flavour - I had to discard it. None of the classic recipes for béarnaise have lemon juice. Hollandaise, yes, but not béarnaise. Larrousse, E David, and even Delia taste authentic. No lemon juice for them. So, be careful with the lemon juice. A very small amount, or none, tastes best. Michel Roux says "serve at once", which is good advice if you are the sauce chef and someone else is cooking the steaks. If you are juggling both, don't leave the finished sauce somewhere hot ( the back of the Aga is too hot) as it will separate. Once made it should be cool enough to put your finger in, and should not be heated any more. But it is so worth the trouble. One of the finest sauces in the world (without the lemon juice!).


How do you make the potato garnish on top of the steak?


Nice site

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