This is roughly based on Nigella Lawson’s bearnaise recipe with a few adjustments. Bearnaise can be pretty tricky to make, my first ever attempt more strongly resembled tarragon scrambled eggs. There are loads of different methods out there, but this one worked perfectly. While chips are a more traditional accompaniment, if you don’t have a deep fryer, these fried potatoes with green beans are a lovely alternative as an accompaniment.
- 2 shallots, very finely chopped
- 2 tbs fresh tarragon leaves, chopped, and their stalks, chopped roughly and bruised
- 4 tbs wine or tarragon vinegar
- 4 tbs white wine
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tbs water
- 170-200g soft unsalted butter, cut into 1cm dice
- 4 steaks of your preference
- olive oil
Potatoes with French Beans and Shallots:
- 700g potatoes, peeled
- 300g French beans, trimmed
- 3 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Olive oil
First, make the potatoes as follows:
- First, trim the beans and chop them into thirds. Fry in olive oil over medium heat for about 4 minutes, adding the garlic halfway through.
- Leave aside.
- Cut the potatoes into small cubes, and fry over medium heat in olive oil.
- When they start to soften and colour a little bit, after approximately 8-10 minutes add half the shallots.
- When the potatoes start to crisp,about another 5 minutes, add the remaining shallots, parsley and beans.
- Toss well, and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
Next, for the steak bearnaise:
- Heat the shallots, tarragon stalks, half the tarragon, wine and vinegar in a pot until reduced to approximately 2 tablespoons (this happens very quickly).
- Sieve this to remove leaves/stems/shallots etc and leave to cool.
- Put egg yolks and water into a bowl.
- Set over a pan of water that has come to a simmer which the bottom of the bowl does not touch.
- Add the reduced and strained liquid and whisk well.
- Add the butter, cube by cube whisking all the time. You can normally get away with a bit less than 200g, but if it is not thickening enough after approximately 4-5 minutes, add the rest.
- Add the tarragon.
- Take the saucepan off the heat but leave the bowl over the water to keep warm.
- Whisk occasionally if the sauce starts to separate.
- Season the steaks.
- Cook the steaks by pan frying on a high heat to sear, and then reducing this heat to medium-high after approximately 20 seconds
- For rare, cook for 2 minutes on each side, for medium 3, and for well done, maybe try eating something else since you clearly don’t actually like steak.
- Leave the steaks to sit for a few minutes before serving with the sauce.
- Meanwhile, toss the potatoes and French beans in their pan over heat for 1-2 minutes to reheat, and serve with the steaks.