This is a wonderful sauce that is superb with all manner of fish and when served with new season asparagus makes a heavenly starter. Many people are afraid of attempting this sauce as it can often go wrong and split. However this is not as big a problem as many people think, if it gets too cold and splits, heat the butter before adding more. If it overheats and splits, add an ice cube. Once you have mastered this recipe you will want to cook it for your friends all the time, so give it a try.
- Dish Type: Sauce
- Serves: 2
- Preparation time: 5 mins
- Cooking time: 10 mins
- Difficulty: Easy
- Cuisine type: French
- 250g unsalted butter
- 50ml white wine vinegar
- 40ml pasteurised liquid egg yolk or 2 raw egg yolks
- 6 black peppercorns
- 1 bayleaf
- Sprig of thyme and sprig of tarragon
- Lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
Gently melt the butter either in a pan, allowing the milky white liquid to fall to the bottom of the
pan, or in a covered plastic container in the microwave. If you then chill it at this stage it makes it
easy to pour away the separated impurities.
When you are ready to make the sauce, gently melt and warm through the butter, it should be
perfectly clarified by now.
Put the vinegar, peppercorns, bayleaf, thyme and tarragon into a small saucepan and bring to a rapid
boil and reduce to about 1 tbsp of liquid is left, remove from heat and strain off.
Put the egg yolks and vinegar in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk until it
all becomes light and foamy and starts to look like a sauce, be careful not to scramble the eggs at
this stage by getting the bowl too hot. Either turn the heat off or remove the bowl for a minute if its
going too quickly.
Add the clarified butter, a little at a time, whisking well with each addition, be patient and don’t try
to add too much in one go or you may split it, if it starts to get too thick either add a little more
vinegar reduction or a splash of warm water, then continue to add the butter until all is used.
Once you have a perfect consistency of sauce that will hold if you spooned it over something, then
season with a little salt and pepper and lemon juice to taste.
See our collection of sauce recipes for fish.
Nutrition per serving
- Per 100g 524cal / 2160kj
- Fat 55.9g
- Saturates 34.3g
- Carbs 2.1g
- Sugars 0.6g
- Protein 2.4g
- Salt 0.53g