Michel Roux's bearnaise sauce recipe

(566 ratings)

Looking for a sauce to go with beef? Try Michel Roux's bearnaise sauce recipe that's perfect with steak.

bearnaise sauce recipe
(Image credit: Alamy Stock Photo)
Preparation Time5 mins
Cooking Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins (plus cooling time)

This bearnaise sauce recipe is the perfect sauce to accompany your steak. Creamy and with plenty of spices and herbs, this bearnaise sauce is one of our favourite steak sauces and we bet it will become yours too! Bearnaise sauce is one of the great French classics, and it’s a great little recipe to master for when you’re cooking for family, friends, or for someone special on a date night in. This bearnaise sauce recipe is by chef Michel Roux, so you know it's good. This bearnaise sauce takes a little effort to make but is well worth it when you combine the herby flavour of this buttery sauce with a succulent steak. To make bearnaise sauce, you’ll need vinegar, shallots, eggs, butter plus spices and herbs to give it flavour. This sauce takes 35 minutes to make, so you’ll need a bit of extra time when preparing dinner before your guests arrives. This bearnaise sauce recipe also works with chips, eggs, spooned over poached eggs, or splashed over roast fish.

Love a good homemade sauce recipe? We've got loads more delicious homemade sauces right here.


  • 2tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3tbsp snipped tarragon
  • 30g shallot, finely chopped
  • 10 peppercorns, crushed
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 250g freshly clarified butter (melted butter with the milk solids and water removed), cooled to tepid
  • 2tbsp snipped chervil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper




  1. Combine the wine vinegar, 2tbsp snipped tarragon, the shallot and peppercorns in a small, heavy-based saucepan and reduce by half over a low heat. Set aside to cool.
  2. When the vinegar reduction is cold, add the egg yolks and 3tbsp cold water. Set the pan over a low heat and whisk continuously, making sure that the whisk reaches right down into the bottom of the pan. As you whisk, gently increase the heat; the sauce should emulsify slowly and gradually, becoming oily after 8-10 mins. (Do not let it become hotter than 65ºC.)
  3. Turn off the heat and whisk the clarified butter into the sauce, a little at a time.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and pass the sauce through a conical sieve into another pan. Stir in the rest of the tarragon, the chervil and lemon juice. Check the seasoning and serve at once.
Top Tip for making Michel Roux's bearnaise sauce

This sauce is best made and served on the same day for the perfect taste

Michel Roux Jr.
Michelin-starred celebrity chef

Michel Roux Jr. was born in Kent where he was brought up around cooking. His earliest memories are playing in the kitchens where his father, the famous Albert Roux, worked as a private chef for the Cazelet family. He left school at 16 and worked he was around the Paris restaurant scene learning how to cook his now signature style of classic French food with a modern twist. 

In 1991 Michel took over his father and uncle’s restaurant La Gavroche. It has since been awarded three Michelin stars- the first ever in the UK- and was the first-ever Michelin-starred restaurant to offer a set-price lunch to make fine dining more accessible. Michel is now best known for presenting BBC’s Masterchef: The Professionals and the ‘Great British Food Revival.’ Michel also has a number of best-selling recipe books, including  The French Revolution, which aims to teach you simple yet delicious French recipes from scratch. If you’re looking to impress your friends and family with tasty dishes, sauces, and pastries, try our Michel Roux Jr's recipes.  (opens in new tab)