May 12, 2011

Winshaw Weekly Experiments (Béarnaise Sauce)

Image courtesy of Daily Telegraph

So, my 'new' husband and i are both very into our food.  Stay tuned to see how this affects our waistlines!  Maybe i should take some before and after photo's ;)  Cooking dinner together is genuinely one of our favourite pass-times.  We start off with my husband pouring us each a glass of wine or cracking open a cold one and then... the fun begins.  A few weeks ago we decided, to challenge ourselves, to choose one recipe a week that is something different to what is served up from our usual repertoire.  For our first 'experimental' meal, to make use of the wonderful deep-fryer we received as a wedding gift, we decided on something that has to match well with potato chips.  The obvious choice: Steak of course!!  I received a gorgeous recipe book (Sauces, Michel Roux, Rizzoli International Publications Inc, 2006) as a gift from my cousin for looking after their dogs while they were away on holiday that i have been very eager to put to use. So, steak and chips... plus which sauce... Bearnaise of course!  Michel Roux has a helpful index at the back of the book with a list of foods and the sauces that would pair well with them.  On the top of the list for sauces to match with beef:  Bearnaise!

My husband, using newly learnt techniques from season 2 of MasterChef Australia, was in charge of preparing the T-bones, while i went about making the sauce.  I have not much experience with sauces, so was a leeetle bit nervous. To my pleasant surprise,  the easy to follow recipe worked a treat!

Image courtesy of Wicked Food
Serves 6
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 12- 15 minutes

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons snipped tarragon 
62.5 ml minced shallot
10 peppercorns, crushed
4 egg yolks
3 tablespoons cold water
250 ml freshly clarified butter, cooled to tepid
2 tablespoons snipped chervil
juice of half a lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small thick-bottomed sauce-pan, combine the vinegar, tarragon, shallots and peppercorns and cook over a low heat to reduce by half.  Set aside in a cool place.
When the vinegar reduction is cold, add the egg yolks and cold water.  Set the pan over low heat and whisk continuously, making sure that the whisk reaches right down into the bottom of the pan.  As you whisk, gently increase the heat; the sauce should emulsify slowly and gradually, becoming unctuous after 8-10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and whisk the clarified butter into the sauce, a little at a time.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pass the sauce through a wire-mesh conical sieve into another pan.  Stir in the rest of the tarragon, the chervil and lemon juice.  Serve at once.

My notes:  As i am not a fan of any liquorice-flavoured food, i am not a fan of tarragon and don't grow it in my garden.  So, i used thyme instead - it was lovely.  Another herb exchange: I didn't have fresh chervil in my garden, so i used parsley instead.

1 comment:

  1. too many ingrediants ive never heard of looks good but complicated