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Chef John's Bearnaise Sauce

Rated as 4.8 out of 5 Stars

"I adore a good hollandaise and couldn't survive without mayonnaise, but if I had to pick an all-time favorite 'aise, it might just be béarnaise. This tarragon-spiked, shallot-infused hollandaise is absolutely perfect with any and all steaks or roasts, especially lean ones."
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55 m servings 152
Original recipe yields 8 servings (1 cup sauce)


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  1. Place 1 cup tarragon, shallots, and peppercorns in a saucepan. Pour in white wine vinegar, white wine, and water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer; stir. Reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a gentle simmer and reduce liquid to about 3 tablespoons, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer, pressing vegetable/herb mixture to extract as much liquid as possible.
  2. Place 1/4 cup chopped tarragon and capers in a mortar. Mash with a pestle about 1 minute. Add 1 tablespoon cold butter. Mash and pound with pestle until ingredients are thoroughly combined in a solid mass. Transfer to a piece of plastic wrap; wrap and chill.
  3. Place egg yolks in a stainless steel (flameproof) mixing bowl; add 3 tablespoons tarragon/shallot reduction; whisk together. Add cold butter cubes. Place bowl over low to medium heat whisking constantly until sauce thickens, as you hold the bowl with a kitchen towel. After butter melts continue whisking; mixture will turn a lighter yellow color after 8 to 10 minutes. When mixture is nice and thick, reduce heat to low and stir in compound butter broken into chunks. Continue whisking. Remove from heat. Season with salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.


  • Chef's Note:
  • A sauce made from 75% butter has some advantages, and elevating lean meat is just one of them. This is also excellent on potatoes, vegetables, as well as just about any seafood I can imagine. And as I mentioned in the video, this can be used to make quite the memorable eggs Benedict.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 152 calories; 14.2 2.9 1.4 86 38 Full nutrition

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A bit challenging. I'm an experienced cook, and I still struggled with this one. I love, love bearnaise sauce, and wanted to try it from scratch for a change for Easter dinner. Takes a long t...

I made this on Christmas Day to go with our meat and asparagus. It was a total hit. We didn't change anything!

Worked perfectly! Best steak sauce I've ever had!

I didnt have any capers but that was the only change I made. My husband was in heaven with this sauce over his steak. Absolutely delicious. Thank-you.

So flavourful! Although I followed the recipe to the letter my sauce broke (did not combine). But No worries. I just stirred in a tblsp of cream. All was fine!