If Hollandaise is a classic mother sauce, then Béarnaise is the funky maiden aunt living out a more unconventional existence, entering the room with a near-imperceptible wink and an air of “now what trouble can we get ourselves into?” She finds herself able to adapt to a wide variety of circumstances, like the versatile chameleon she is, from formal English garden party to late-night smoky tapas bar with equal ease.
A cross between Hollandaise and beurre blanc, Sauce Béarnaise is an emulsified egg and butter sauce made tangier and brighter with the addition of shallots, champagne vinegar, and herbs, particularly tarragon, which elevates the je-ne-sais-quoi factor immeasurably. No really, try to describe the flavor of tarragon. “I don’t know what” is about the best way to summarize it. That, and the general feeling it gives of “aren’t I one of the clever people?”
Like Hollandaise, Béarnaise can be made in a blender, or the more-traditional double-boiler method. Swap it in for Hollandaise when you yourself are feeling more unconventional than classic, and check out these preparations when you really want to crank it up to 11.
Steak and Eggs Benedict with Béarnaise Sauce
When you’re feeling so ballsy as to combine Steak and Eggs and Eggs Benedict into one dish, why settle for simple Hollandaise? Go Béarnaise or go home. Get our Steak and Eggs Benedict with Béarnaise Sauce recipe.
Stuffed Eggs Béarnaise
There are deviled eggs, and then there are truly devilish eggs, incorporating all of the show-off elements of Sauce Bearnaise into the yolk stuffing for a potluck dish that says “you’re welcome, minions.” Get the recipe.
Steamed Baby Broccoli With Blender Béarnaise
An unconventional vegetable meets an unconventional sauce for a marriage that just might have a chance of lifelong happiness. Get the recipe.
Sautéed Leeks and Green Apple With Tarragon Béarnaise
French Potato Salad with Béarnaise
Because you were never the kind of person who could be trusted to dress a salad with anything as pedestrian as “salad dressing,” this elegant potato salad incorporates olives and green beans (pardon me, haricots verts) and binds everything with Béarnaise. Get the recipe.
Cod Gratin with Sauce Béarnaise
Maybe you don’t have the funds to go to Reykjavík to hike glaciers and see the Northern lights this winter, but that’s no reason you shouldn’t try this Iceland-inspired cod gratin dish smothered in Béarnaise for a cozy yet cosmopolitan evening at home. Get the recipe.
Salmon Strudel with Béarnaise Sauce
Why settle for a simple steamed salmon with Hollandaise when you can bring pastry and Béarnaise into the equation? Get the recipe.
Chicken Tchoupitoulas with Béarnaise Sauce
Just because you’re a classic French sauce doesn’t mean you can’t hang with some down-and-dirty Big Easy spicy chicken. Get the recipe.
This open-faced chicken sandwich incorporating not one but two sauces, one being Béarnaise, was named after a Revolutionary War general, and we think this dish is every bit worth rising up over. Get the recipe.
Pork Fillet with BBQ Béarnaise
Because when you are already as sassy as Béarnaise, you can justify a little rule-breaking, like adding a bit of barbecue sauce for a tangy, smoky Béarnaise to pair with the other white meat. Get the recipe.
Lobster and Bacon Stuffed Beef Tenderloin with Béarnaise Sauce
Béarnaise: for all of your surf and turf (and bacon) needs. Get the recipe.