The Basics : Bearnaise Sauce (With Peppered Roast Beef)
This little glass jar holds the key to your next great Sunday lunch. Bearnaise sauce can magically transform a simple roast or steak into a something a bit special. And please take my word for it when I say it is easy peasy. With a jar of this at the ready, all you need is a piece of cold roast beef to slice thinly (recipe below), some great bread, a green salad and bottle of red wine and you have yourself one of the yummiest, simplest meals imaginable. I promise every plate will be clean as a whistle at the end of that lunch. Bearnaise is traditionally paired with steak and potato chips but it’s also beautiful with any of the below:
- Steamed vegetables
- Tender artichokes
- Thickly sliced leg ham on sourdough bread
- Barbecued lamb racks
- Pan-fried salmon
- Simple roast chicken
Makes 1 cup (250mls)
1 tbsp black peppercorns
½ cup (125ml) white wine vinegar
¼ cup loosely packed tarragon leaves and stems, finely chopped
¼ cup loosely packed chervil, leaves and stems finely chopped
4 egg yolks, at room temperature
125g butter, at room temperature, cubed
Crush the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle until a coarse powder. Place this, with the white wine vinegar, white wine, shallots, herbs in a small saucepan over a high heat. Bring mixture to the boil and let bubble (uncovered) for 5 minutes or until reduced by half. Strain this liquid into a bowl, extracting as much moisture as possible. Place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water), add yolks and whisk for a couple of minutes or until mixture starts to thicken. Add the butter, one cube at a time, whisking constantly. Don’t add another cube until the previous one is incorporated into the sauce. Once all of the butter has been added, remove bowl from heat and season to taste. Keep sauce warm and covered.
Peppered Roast Beef
It doesn’t get much easier than this basic roast. You can cook it hours before needed and then keep warm in a cocoon of foil all morning.
1kg Beef topside roast
2 tbsps black peppercorns
2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 220C (200C fan). Crush peppercorns in a mortar and pestle until coarse. Rub beef with olive oil, crushed peppercorns and sea salt, place in the centre of a roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes, turn meat, then roast for another 15 (for medium rare). Remove from oven and cover with foil and leave until needed serve this warm or at room temperature.