Monday 29 March 2010

A Sort-Of Béarnaise Sauce

I've had a steak craving for quite some time. Normally I'd satisfy this craving with a trip to Hawksmoor but I recently bought a ticket to Nicaragua to see a friend and have since been on a budgetary lock down. But no matter; off I trotted to the butcher to get my hands on a juicy rib-eye. Charred on a super-hot griddle, the only accompaniment I could think of making was Béarnaise. Or should it be anchovy butter? I couldn't decide, so I combined the two. Anchovies might seem a weird option, but they go incredibly well with beef. It's a rich sauce, scented and lightened with tarragon and lemon.

Triple-cooked chips, made with this recipe (which, by the way, were amazing - I can't believe I haven't made them before), completed the holy trinity of a heart attack on a plate and stank my flat out for hours.

Béarnaise Sauce with Anchovy

Makes enough for two greedy girls

4 anchovy fillets
2 egg yolks
120gr unsalted butter
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 heaped tbsp tarragon
1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp vermouth
2 shallots

In a small pan, heat the butter, add the anchovies chopped finely and cook until foaming. Take off the heat and skim the white impurities that are at the surface to clarify it. Chop the shallots and the tarragon finely. In a small saucepan add the shallots and 1tbsp of the tarragon. Add the vinegar, vermouth and 2 tbsp of water and simmer until the liquid has reduced to half. Season liberally.

Whisk the egg yolks and add to the shallot mixture. Heat slowly, whisking as you go until the sauce has thickened and emulsified. Don't allow to boil. Take off the heat and whisk the butter into it, whisking all the while and incorporating the butter before you add any more. Push the sauce through a sieve, then add the rest of the tarragon and the lemon juice. Keep warm with a foil lid in a very low oven until serving.


Unknown said...

Looks fabulously yellow. Craving steak now.

Kerri said...

I love anchovies with steak, great idea to combine them in the bearnaise.

I hear you on the stink of frying, it's hideous, especially the next morning. Roll on summer and the ability to have the windows open!

The Grubworm said...

Anchovies with steak? What a great idea -i've had them with lamb and loved it, and i suspect they go with steak for the same reason. But to combine them in a bearnaise - that's genius!

It looks suitably gloopy and yellow and it sure sounds like it tasted good. next time i have a steak i'm gonna try me some of that.

S said...

hihihi and the stench was *so* worth it, wasnt it? looks soooo delish, Lizzie. have a gorgeous time in Nic- want to hear all about it, take loads of snaps and come back bronzed and (more) beautiful! x shayma

Jonathan said...

Anchovy is a very interesting addition. Having had minced raw oyster in my steak tartare at the weekend I am open to anything like this. Nice.

Unknown said...

Genius - I love the addition of the anchovy

BribedwithFood said...

You know who we could feed this to, don't you?
(apart from me that is!)
Looks suitably delish.

Joshua said...

Nice idea. I can never bring myself to make any two person sauce that contains half a block of butter. If I eat it out I can pretend I don't know what I'm eating though.

Just Cook It said...

Yes, yes, yes. A thousand times Yes

Su-Lin said...

Yeah, I'm with Joshua - the half block of butter is quite heart stoppingly scary. But alas, I must overcome this if I want to learn to make classic French sauces.

The Pub Diaries said...

Would never have thought of anchovies but it kinda makes sense.... shame its 22:15 and I have no steak.... just have to wait til tomorrow

Hollow Legs said...

Sarah - Steak cravings need to be satisfied. You must.

Kerri - I had to open the windows and freeze my arse off - the smoke alarm is VERY sensitive!

Grubworm - Thank you. definitely try it, it's a great sauce.

Shayma - Blush! You are too kind. I will be recording (some of) my exploits.

Jonathan - that sounds amazing.

GC - thanks!

Bribed with food - Definitely. It's on the list...

Josh - shhh!

Just cook it - high praise, from a masterchef semi-finalist! ;)

Su-Lin - I made up for it by eating salad. (this is a lie)

Pub Diaries - indulge!

Helen said...

How to make bernaise sauce better? Put anchovies in it. Booyah!