A simplified and keto-friendly French béarnaise sauce over fresh steamed asparagus.
Béarnaise is an ultra rich sauce traditionally made with clarified butter, egg yolks, vinegar and flavored with herbs. It is considered a child sauce of Hollandaise, one of the of 5 French mother sauces. It is decadently rich and flavorful and a great pairing for your next meal.
Many may already be familiar with Hollandaise, which is often served with poached eggs. Hollandaise is one of the 5 French mother sauces, the others being Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, Hollandaise, and Tomato. These five sauces were identified by Marie-Antoine Carême in the 19th century as the building blocks for all other sauces. Hollandaise is made from clarified butter, egg yolks and an acid (such as lemon or white wine). As you can see, a béarnaise sauce is simply a variation of that, only additional herbs and shallots for more flavor.
In a traditional béarnaise (or Hollandaise) sauce you begin by clarifying your butter, which separates the milk solids from the butter fat. While this is the preferred method, in order to save a few steps, I microwave the butter but dispense with the separation part. It doesn’t change the texture much and takes much less time to prepare.
The only part of this sauce where you’ll need to be patient is when tempering your eggs. After you’ve mixed your eggs with your reduced vinegar, you’ll want to slowly whisk your melted butter into the egg mixture. By pouring very slowly, this prevents your yolks from cooking, allowing them to slowly come up to temperature without curdling. If in doubt, the slower the better.
Once you have your prepared sauce, you’re ready to drizzle it over your favorite foods. Spoon it over a fire grilled steak, omelette, or even use it like a mayonnaise. During springtime, including it in an Easter meal is a great way to elevate any of your side dishes. I love using it over steamed asparagus which I’ve highlighted in this recipe. If you need to find the freshest produce, I highly recommend you visit your local Sprouts Farmers Market. They’re a great source of a variety of meats & produce. They have everything you need for an Easter feast in a single grocery trip!
One last tip on the béarnaise sauce… since it’s mostly butter, it’s best to keep it warm before serving. Once it cools it will thicken and not be sauce-like, and it’s really not good re-warmed. So just be mindful that the sauce is best served fresh and used all at once. Hope you enjoy!
Béarnaise Sauce over Steamed Asparagus
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- ½ shallot minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig tarragon, plus 1 tbsp of chopped tarragon
- ½ lemon juice squeezed
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus
- 1 cup water
- ½ lemon juice squeezed
- In a saucepan, add vinegar, minced shallot, bay leaf, and sprig of tarragon. Set the burner on low and stir until reduced by half. Remove from heat and cool.
- In a microwave-safe measuring cup, cut butter in half and add to cup. Microwave for 30 seconds, then additional 15 seconds at a time, until butter is melted.
- In a large mixing bowl, add egg yolk, and the juice of ½ lemon. Strain your vinegar from the saucepan into the egg yolk (discarding the tarragon, bay leaf and shallots). Slowly pour the melted butter into the egg yolk/vinegar mixture and whisk till thickened. Add chopped tarragon leaves and fresh ground pepper. Keep warm till served.
- Prepare asparagus by cutting the woody/tough part of the stalks off. See note below for tip.
- In a large sauce pan, add 1 cup of water over high heat till boilling.
- Add asparagus to boiling water, cover, and steam for 5-6 minutes until soft but still bright green. Squeeze ½ lemon juice over asparagus.