Béarnaise is one of the classic sauces from French cuisine and it is great with steak. The traditional way of preparing it au bain marie requires quite a bit of skill, as the sauces curdles easily. It also requires you to make clarified butter first. And even though you should make clarified butter to cook the steak anyway, using a slightly different technique you can make sauce béarnaise easily with minimal risk of curdling.
Last night’s dinner: a nice juicy steak cooked sous-vide and then seared quickly in very hot clarified butter, hand cut fries, sauce béarnaise, a green salad, and a nice glass of Saint-Émilion Grand Cru.
There are some variation on the recipe, but the basic idea of béarnaise is a hollandaise with tarragon. Some recipes also add parsley and chervil. Some recipes use tarragon vinegar, but instead you can just as easily use the stems of the tarragon to flavor the sauce, which is what I did.
80 ml (1/3 cup) dry white wine
75 grams (5 1/2 Tbsp) butter
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp minced fresh tarragon leaves, stems reserved
1 egg yolk
1 shallot, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 sprig thyme
2 white peppercorns, crushed
salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste
Put the white wine, the white wine vinegar, the reserved tarragon stems, the shallot, the bay leaf, the thyme, and the crushed peppercorns in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Butterflied salmon fillet filled with a basil-lemon pesto, rolled up into a roulade, cooked sous-vide, and cut into slices that are served on haricots verts. Salmon cooked sous-vide to 43C/109F is amazingly velvety, which contrasts nicely with the crispy haricots verts. The round buttery flavor of the salmon is complemented by the fresh taste of the basil-lemon pesto.