Michel Roux's bearnaise sauce

(62 ratings)
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 bearnaise sauce recipe is the perfect sauce to accompany your steak. Creamy and with plenty of spices and herbs, this bearnaise sauce is one of our favourite steak sauces and we bet it will become yours too! Bearnaise sauce is one of the great French classics, and it’s a great little recipe to master for when you’re cooking for family, friends, or for someone special on a date night in. This bearnaise sauce recipe is by chef Michel Roux, so you know it's good. This bearnaise sauce takes a little effort to make but is well worth it when you combine the herby flavour of this buttery sauce with a succulent steak. To make bearnaise sauce, you’ll need vinegar, shallots, eggs, butter plus spices and herbs to give it flavour. This sauce takes 35 minutes to make, so you’ll need a bit of extra time when preparing dinner before your guests arrives. Making your own bearnaise sauce instead of buying steak sauce from the supermarket is a lot better because homemade is always tastier, and you’ll also know exactly what you put in it. And even though this is originally a steak sauce, we have another use for it – this bearnaise sauce tastes great with chips, so get dipping! This bearnaise sauce recipe also works with eggs, spooned over poached eggs, or splashed over roast fish.


  • 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 65ºC.)
  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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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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