A variation on Hollandaise
sauce, bearnaise is a versatile sauce that can be used with chicken, fish
, steak and sweetbreads
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash of white pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 minced shallots
3 crushed peppercorns
1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
4 tablespoons wine vinegar
Simmer shallots, peppercorns, tarragon and wine vinegar. Reduce liquid to about one tablespoon. Strain liquid into heavy pan.
Melt butter in small saucepan. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Remove impurities from butter (One method is to: pour melted butter into plastic bottle with nozzle and stand the bottle upside down into a cup, the impurities will settle in the nozzle).
Remove the thick white piece that sometimes adheres to the egg yolks, put yolks and reduced vinegar-tarragon liquid into heavy pan. Heat on low on rangetop and beat continuously with a wire whisk until a thick custard forms (if the mixture is cooking too fast, remove from heat and set pan in cold water).
When the mixture is thick, gradually add the butter into custard drop by drop, beating constantly. Leave white residue in the bottom of the butter pan. Once butter is added, season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
Pour sauce into serving dish, keep dish in warm water at the same temperature as the sauce. Finish with minced fresh tarragon and chervil.