Friday is the day I kick my diet in the butt and yesterday I gave it a royal kick with a big bowl of béarnaise sauce. The Mr. was craving for it and, since he behaved so well for the whole week by not eating things that would make me pull my hairs out in despair, I thought it was only fair to grant him his wish. I know you can buy this sauce in the supermarkets ready to eat or half prepared but... C'mon! It is not the same thing and it doesn't give half the satisfaction. It is indeed a tricky little thing to make, but once you get the hang of it you'll see just how much it is worth it. I use a recipe adapted and perfected by my father over the years. There are a few differences from the original recipe but the result is still amazing. If you feel brave enough give it a try.
this makes enough for 4 people:
(even though it's the amount I make just for the 2 of us at home...don't judge until you try it!)
1 small onion finely chopped (half the size of the one you can see in my pictures)
2 table spoons dry tarragon (or according to your taste)
2 egg yolks
250g (a pack) cold butter (a good idea is to previously slice the butter into 7 or 8 pieces)
Throw the chopped onion and the tarragon into a small sauce pan and add the white wine just enough to cover it. In low heat let the wine evaporate completely (there should not be any liquid left but don't let it burn).
Remove the sauce pan from the stove and place it's outside under cold running water for a few seconds (this is a nice trick).
Now it's where the complicated bit starts. The thing about this sauce is that you need to have perfect control over it's temperature. Too much heat will make the yolks and the butter separate and not enough heat will make it stay liquid and not really a sauce. My two first attempts here in Denmark were a failure because I wasn't used to an electric stove. I used to cook with fire and had to figure out what the stupid numbers on this new stove meant. Finally I found out that number 3 was the one I wanted (out of 6). Moving on...
Get the butter out of the fridge at this point.
Back to the stove, low flame or number 3, add the yolks and start stirring until you get sort of a paste (takes seconds). Then add a piece of butter and stir...never stop stirring...vigorously. when that piece is fully incorporated add another one and repeat the process. A good idea, to avoid over heating, is to add the pieces of butter and start stirring with the sauce pan on the stove and then, when it's half melted, finish it away from the heat.
When all the butter is incorporated keep stirring, moving the pan on and off the heat if needed, until it gets the consistency of a sauce. And it's done!