The bearnaise sauce that is not ... béarnaise

Béarnaise sauce, or béarnaise, is a hot emulsified sauce made with clarified butter, egg yolk, shallot, tarragon and chervil, served to spice up meats.

It is a variation of the hollandaise sauce.

Contrary to what its name suggests, this sauce does not originate from Béarn, but from the Paris region.

It would have been created by mistake by Jean-Louis-François Collinet, chef at the Pavillon Henri IV in 1837.

The cook, wanting to make up for a failed sauce, thus created the famous sauce based on melted butter, egg yolk, shallot and tarragon.

A failed shallot reduction was made up for by the chef who made an emulsion with egg yolk.

Questioned by the customers on the name of this new sauce, he improvised that of "sauce béarnaise", his glance being carried on the bust of Henri IV, native of Pau, the capital of Béarn, which throned in the room.

A great lover of good food, Alexandre Dumas, friend of Collinet, would also be co-inventor of the béarnaise.

In 1879, one can read in the newspaper La France "Know that it is to Dumas-Collinet that you owe the bunnies-in-case, and to Colinet-Dumas that is due this exquisite sauce, eternal honor of French cuisine, which, under the name of sauce béarnaise, puts a golden and joyful note on the severe bronze of the dark entrecote! »

In the collection entitled Histoire de mes bêtes, first published in 1867, Alexandre Dumas mentions his friend Collinet, his culinary accomplice, and the propagator, if not the inventor, of the "chops à la béarnaise", a formula that could imply that Collinet was not the only creator of the recipe.



2 egg yolks

150g of clarified butter

4 cl of wine vinegar

3 cl of white wine

1 shallot

1/4 bunch of tarragon

1/4 bunch of chervil

1/2 tsp mignonette pepper

1 pinch of salt



Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.

When the butter is melted, remove if possible the low butter with a skimmer then filter the rest of the fat in a strainer.

Peel the leaves and chop the herbs finely.

Carefully peel and finely chop the shallots.

In a saucepan, add the white wine, white vinegar, salt, pepper, chopped shallot and half of the herbs.

Let reduce to a simmer while keeping a liquid bottom.



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