Bearnaise is a flavorful derivative of hollandaise that gets its distinct flavor from the addition of tarragon, shallots and white wine vinegar.
The Steak Issue
2 tablespoons dried tarragon
1 tablespoon minced shallots
½ teaspoon salt, separated
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
½ cup white vinegar
2 egg yolks
1 stick (¼ pound) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Combine the tarragon, shallots, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, pepper and vinegar in a small saucepan. Simmer the ingredients over medium-high heat until almost all of the vinegar evaporates and 1 tablespoon is left, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool slightly.
In a stainless-steel bowl set over a pot of simmering water (or a double boiler), whisk the egg yolks and cayenne into the syrup over very low heat. As soon as the egg yolks have thickened, slowly add the melted butter a bit at a time, whisking continuously. Add the lemon juice and remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt, and adjust the seasoning to taste if needed. Serve immediately over the steak, or keep warm, covered, over a pot of simmering water, for a short time.