I don't usually post recipes here. But, I'll make an exception because this one was so good, and so easy. Before I do, though, I should note that we do publish recipes in our quarterly newsletter, and have compiled them in a recipe archive on our Web site. That said, read on!
I've always loved Bearnaise and Hollandaise sauces as a special treat, whether with steak or with green vegetables like broccoli or asparagus. My dad will eat just about anything with either sauce on it, and I grew up thinking that these two sauces were the height of luxurious dining. I guess not much has changed! But I also remember my mom carefully whisking the butter into the eggs for what seemed like hours and being frustrated when some inevitably separated. So, I've mostly stayed away from trying them. But last night, when I discovered that we were out of charcoal and so were going to be cooking some beautiful bone-in ribeye steaks I'd gotten on the stove, I thought it was worth trying again with Bearnaise. And it turned out great, was amazingly fast, and should be endlessly reproducible. Seriously: 10 minutes from start to finish.
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
2 tbsp dry white wine
1 small shallot, minced
2 sprigs tarragon leaves, minced
3/4 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
2 large egg yolks
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Combine vinegar, wine, shallot, half the tarragon, 1/4 tsp salt, and pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
In a blender, combine eggs, 1/2 tsp salt, and cooled shallot-wine mixture and blend for 30 seconds.
With the blender on, add the melted butter in a slow stream. It should take you about 30 seconds to add all the butter.
Add the other half of the tarragon leaves and blend for another few seconds.
Move to a small pitcher and serve with steaks.
We served this with a 2004 Beaucastel Chateauneuf du Pape, which was really too young, but we decanted it and watched it open gradually throughout the meal. By the last glass, the wine was gorgeous. A marbled steak and the rich tang of Bearnaise pair with most substantial red wines, and would be a beautiful match with an Esprit de Beaucastel, young or old.