I first had béarnaise sauce at Lucques. On their late night bar menu, they offer skirt steak with fries. They serve béarnaise for the steak, and catsup for the fries, but I dipped everything in the béarnaise. It is the kind of sauce you are tempted to drink out of a cup. The combination of rich butter, tarragon, and tangy wine and vinegar is hard to beat. Ina Garten simplifies the traditional method quite well in her book, Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home.
Gather the ingredients:
1/4 c. champagne vinegar
1/4 c. white wine
2 Tab. minced shallots
3 Tab. chopped fresh tarragon leaves (in this case I used 1 Tab. dried)
salt and pepper
3 large egg yolks
8 oz. unsalted butter
Combine the vinegar, wine, shallots, tarragon 1/4 tea. salt and 1/4 tea. pepper in a small saucepan and bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat until reduced to approximately 2 or 3 tablespoons. Cool slightly. Melt the butter.
Place the cooled vinegar mixture, the yolks and a pinch of salt into a blender. Start the blender, with the blender on, slowly pour the melted butter through the opening in the lid. Turn off and taste for seasoning, add more salt if necessary. If sauce is too thick (it should be a little thick, but pourable) add more wine and blend.
We tested out our new deep fryer (we are very much enjoying all our fabulous wedding gifts) and made some fries (more on fries later) and a steak. So good!