This classic French sauce is made from a reduction of butter, vinegar, and wine mixed with tarragon and thickened with egg yolks. It is served with meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
- 4 white peppercorns, crushed
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of cayenne
Heat the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat just to melt. Boil shallots
, and peppercorns
in a nonreactive medium-size saucepan over medium heat until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Strain into the top of a double boiler. Whisk in the egg yolks. Place the top over the bottom of the double boiler containing simmering water. Make sure that the top of the water is below the bottom of the upper part of the double boiler. Whisk constantly. The second that the yolk mixture begins to thicken slightly, remove the top of the double boiler from above the hot water and continue whisking. Turn off the heat. Add four ice cubes to the bottom of the double boiler to cool the hot water a little. Put the pan of yolks back above the hot water. Whisk in the melted butter, drizzling it in very slowly. If at any time the sauce
looks as if it is about to break, remove the top and continue whisking to cool it down or whisk in 1 teaspoon cold water. With constant whisking, whisk in the salt
and cayenne. When all the butter is incorporated, taste and add more salt
or cayenne as needed.
Yield: 1-1/2 cups
Suggested to accompany: Whole Roasted Tenderloin
by Shirley Corriher (Willam Morrow & Co)
Reprinted with permission.