Traditional Béarnaise sauce

béarnaise sauce

Chef Collinet is the creator of the delicious Béarnaise sauce which was made in honour of Béarn, the region of France in which Henri IV was born. It was served at the 1836 opening of Le Pavillon Henri IV, a restaurant at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, not far from Paris. This assumption is supported by the fact that the restaurant was at the former residence of Henry IV of France.

Béarnaise is a rich, thick, warm emulsion sauce, made with egg yolks, vinegar, and ‘monter au beurre’ with clarified butter. Shallots and tarragon, also named estragon, give the typical flavour that differentiates béarnaise from other sauces.

making bearnaise

You will need to make clarified butter before starting to make the sauce.

It is difficult to get around this sauce in Belgium. If a restaurant has steak on the menu, it is a certitude that béarnaise will be one of the sauces that is served with it.

Warm up your wrists as you will need plenty of energy for whisking!

béarnaise sauce

Béarnaise sauce

Béarnaise is a rich, thick, warm emulsion sauce, made with egg yolks, vinegar, and clarified butter.
3 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course sauces, Side dishes
Cuisine French
Servings 6 people
Calories 479 kcal

EQUIPMENT (click pictures for details)


For the béarnaise:


  • Combine all ingredients for the reduction in a saucepan and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
    make gastrique
  • Place a bowl over a bain-marie and whisk the egg yolks together with the water and the reduction.
    egg mixture with gastric
  • Whisk continually until the mixture is thickened and it forms a ribbon. Do not overcook the yolks or they will lose their ability to emulsify the sauce.
    make bearnaise sauce
  • Keep whisking while gradually adding warm clarified butter into the bowl.
    add clarified butter to bearnaise
  • Remove from the heat, season to taste and pass the sauce through a sieve.
    pass sauce through a sieve
  • Add the freshly chopped tarragon and chervil to the béarnaise.
    finish bearnaise


  • The reduction has a very intense vinegar smell because of the base mixture which is made by cooking herbs and other ingredients in a liquid until complete evaporation.

Nutrition for 1 portion

Calories: 479kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 2gFat: 52gCholesterol: 226mgSodium: 7mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 183IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Béarnaise, émulsion
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