|Place of origin||Paris, France|
|Main ingredients||egg yolk, clarified butter, white wine vinegar|
Béarnaise sauce (//; French: [be.aʁ.nɛz]) is a sauce made of clarified butter emulsified in egg yolks and white wine vinegar and flavored with herbs. It is considered to be a "child" of the mother Hollandaise sauce, one of the five mother sauces in the French haute cuisine repertoire. The difference is only in the flavoring: Béarnaise uses shallot, chervil, peppercorns, and tarragon in a reduction of vinegar and wine, while Hollandaise is more stripped down, using a reduction of lemon juice or white wine. (One means of preparing Béarnaise, see below, is to start with Hollandaise and add the other ingredients.) Its name is related to the province of Béarn, France (see below).
In appearance, it is light yellow and opaque, smooth and creamy.
The sauce was accidentally invented by the chef Jean-Louis Françoise-Collinet, the accidental inventor of puffed potatoes (pommes de terre soufflées), and served at the 1836 opening of Le Pavillon Henri IV, a restaurant at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, not far from Paris. This assumption is supported by the fact that the restaurant was in the former residence of Henry IV of France, a gourmet himself, who was from Béarn, a former province now in the department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, in southwestern France.
Like Hollandaise sauce, there are several methods for the preparation of Béarnaise sauce. The most common preparation is a bain-marie method where a reduction of vinegar is used to acidulate the yolks. Escoffier calls for a reduction of wine, vinegar, shallots, fresh chervil, fresh tarragon and crushed peppercorns (later strained out), with fresh tarragon and chervil to finish instead of lemon juice. Others are similar. Alternatively, the flavorings may be added to a finished Hollandaise (without lemon juice). Joy of Cooking describes a blender preparation with the same ingredients.
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