Have you heard of béarnaise mayo? This sauce is a delicious fusion of homemade mayonnaise and béarnaise sauce.
The result is a creamy sauce, flavoured with tarragon and shallots, that goes perfectly with steak and other beef dishes too.
Better than that, it is also the perfect sauce for dipping. Perfect to dunk in chips, fries, wedges or any crispy potato dish.
It's also perfect as an appetiser with crisps and crudités such as carrot sticks, cucumber and pepper slices.
Although there are many different sauces, made in different ways, there are essentially 6 French sauces, from which most other sauces are made.
Originally, the were 4 sauces and, depending on your source, some people insist there are now 7 sauces.
Each sauce can also have daughter sauces, where extra ingredients are added to the basic sauce.
Béchamel sauce - often more commonly known as a white sauce made with a roux of flour and butter cooked together.
It is typically used in lasagne, macaroni cheese, pies or served with vegetables.
The daughter sauces include mornay, which is a cheese sauce, delicious with fish and cauliflower cheese and also sauce soubise, otherwise known as onion sauce, which is delicious with meats, especially lamb.
Mayonnaise sauce - this sauce is an emulsion of oil, egg yolks and an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice.
It's creamy with a slight tang. Very often, French mayonnaise has mustard added to it for colour and flavour, which gives an added dimension, without tasting strong.
It's delicious on salads, sandwiches, such as coronation chicken, with seafood and for dipping chips.
A popular daughter sauce is tartar sauce which is typically served with fish and has the addition of capers and cornichons
Velouté sauce - this sauce is very much like béchamel, except the milk is replaced by stock made from bones.
It is typically served with chicken or seafood dishes.
Suprême sauce is a daughter sauce that is used in the classic dish of chicken supreme, where cream is added to the sauce.
Espagnole sauce - this sauce is more commonly known as brown sauce. It's made with brown stock, which is actually beef stock, with the addition of a mirepoix, (mixture of carrots, onions and celery), and tomato pureé.
This is a rich sauce, which is usually made into a daughter sauce, such as demi-glace, where is it combined with more stock.
It is normally served with meat, and is a more tasty version of the common gravy used on a roast dinner.
The most well known daughter sauce is Bourguignonne, where the sauce is enhanced with a bouquet garni and Burgundy red wine.
Tomato sauce - this is a thick and rich sauce simmered with with tomatoes, stock and a roux.
It is typically served with pasta dishes.
The most famous daughter sauce is Bolognaise, where the carrots, onions and celery are cooked as a base for flavour with minced beef.
Hollandaise sauce - this sauce is another emulsion like mayonnaise but this time it is made with butter and egg yolks.
The name hollandaise lterally means Dutch style, as the Dutch used a large amount of butter incooking.
It's the sauce used to top poached egg is eggs benedict, and is often served with fish, chicken, asparagus and other vegetables.
Béarnaise sauce is a daughter sauce with the addition of tarragon and shallots infused in wine and vineagar. It is particularly good with beef dishes but it is also delicious with chicken.
This recipe combines the techniques from béarnaise and mayonnaise and only takes a few minutes to do.
As it's essentially a sauce for dipping meat or vegetables, it is served cold or at room temperature and will last a few days in the refrigerator too.
❤️ Why you will love this dish
- Perfect for making in advance.
- A delicious dip for steaks and grilled meats or vegetables.
- Easy to make with basic ingredients.
- Great in sandwiches.
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- Eggs - yolks of large free range eggs.
- Oil - a neutral oil, such as vegetable, canola or sunflower oil.
- Wine - a dry white wine such as a pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc.
- Shallot - I prefer to use the long banana shallots as they are easier to peel.
- Tarragon - fresh tarragon leaves to add to the sauce and also to infuse the wine and vinegar.
- Vinegar - white wine vinegar.
- Salt - flaked sea salt or kosher salt.
- Pepper - freshly ground black pepper.
- Mustard - Dijon mustard, rather than yellow mustard or English mustard, for a milder taste.
💭 Top tips for separating egg whites
- I normally store my eggs at room temperature, but if you put your eggs in the fridge for an hour or so before you are ready to prepare a dish, then they will be easier to separate.
- Separate each egg, putting the yolk and whites in separate bowls then add the whites or yolks to the mixing bowl as you go. This makes it easier in case you come across a bad egg without wasting the rest.
The printable recipe card with full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found at the bottom of the article.
- small saucepan
- sharp knife
- chopping board
- balloon whisk
- mixing bowl
- wooden spoon
Peel and chop the shallot.
⏲️ Cooking Time
Put the sprig of tarragon and chopped shallot in a small saucepan with the wine and vinegar over a medium heat until reduced by half.
This will barely take a minute.
Strain the liquid into a small bowl with the sieve.
Put the egg yolks and mustard into a mixing bowl and whisk together.
Add a drop of oil and whisk continuously until combined.
Repeat this process twice.
Pour in the remaining oil in a steady stream, whisking continuously.
Stop pouring and continue whisking, if the mixture is not combining. When you are happy that it is fully incorporated, continue to whisk in the remaining oil.
💭 Top Tip
- It's easier to add the oil if it's poured into a small jug first.
The béarnaise mayonnaise will be thick and creamy.
Whisk in the vinegar reduction.
Remove the tarragon leaves from the stem and chop finely.
Stir in the chopped tarragon and season to taste.
The sauce is ready to serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until required.
🥗 Side Dishes
Béarnaise mayo goes particularly well with beef dishes. It's also great to use as a spread in sandwiches, such as tomato, chicken or beef.
- Bavette Steak
- Côte de Boeuf or Bone in Ribeye Steak
- Roast Rib of Beef
- Picanha Beef
- Jacob's Ladder
- Spider Steak
- Flanken Short Ribs
- Fresh tarragon - use a teaspoon of dried tarragon in the wine reduction and in the finished sauce. The flavour will be slightly different.
- Herbs - use different herbs such as mint, basil, parsle. oregano or coriander.
- Refrigerator - keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The mixture may need to be whisked again beofre serving.
- Freezer - not suitable for freezing.
🍱 Prepare in Advance
- Make the béarnaise mayo sauce and store in the fridge until needed for up to 2 days.
- small saucepan
- sharp knife
- chopping board
- balloon whisk
- Mixing bowl
- wooden spoon
- 2 egg yolks
- 225 ml vegetable oil
- 1.5 tablespoon white wine
- 1 shallot
- 2 sprigs tarragon
- 1.5 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Peel and chop the shallot.
- Put the sprig of tarragon and chopped shallot in a small saucepan with the wine and vinegar over a medium heat until reduced by half.
- Strain the liquid into a mixing bowl with the sieve.
- Put the egg yolks and mustard into a mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Add a drop of oil and whisk continuously until combined. Repeat this process twice.
- Pour in the remaining oil in a steady stream, whisking continuously until thick and creamy.
- Whisk in the vinegar reduction.
- Remove the tarragon leaves from the stem and chop finely.
- Stir in the chopped tarragon and season to taste.
- The béarnaise mayo is ready to serve immediately.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article.
More French sauces to try
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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