Bearnaise Sauce

A rich egg-and-butter sauce sharpened with vinegar, Bearnaise (bay-ahr-nayz) is one of a number of sauces called sauces au beurre. Similar to Hollandaise Sauce, but thicker and sharper in taste, Bearnaise Sauce is served with fillet steak, other grilled red meat or fish and some shellfish.

5 tablespoons wine vinegar

1 shallot, or small onion, cut in

4 pieces

1 bay leaf

1 tarragon sprig

1 chervil sprig

4 peppercorns

4 oz. butter

2 large egg yolks

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon mixed chopped tarragon and chervil

Put the vinegar in a small saucepan with the shallot, or onion, the bay leaf, tarra-gon, chervil and peppercorns. Simmer over low heat until the vinegar is reduced to 1 tablespoon. Strain and set aside.

In a small bowl beat the butter until it is soft. In another bowl beat the egg yolks with a wire whisk or wooden spoon.

Add a heaped teaspoon of softened butter and the salt to the egg yolks. Cream well and stir in the vinegar.

Put the bowl in a saucepan containing warm water and place over low heat. The water should heat gradually, but never come to the boiling point. Stir the mixture until it begins to thicken. Add the remaining butter in small pieces, stirring continuously. When all the butter has been added and the sauce has the consistency of whipped cream, add the cayenne, chopped tarragon and chervil. Taste the sauce and add a little more salt if necessary.

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