Béarnaise is heavenly served with a meaty steak, tenderloin, or even wild salmon. It can be made an hour ahead but needs to be reheated gently so that it doesn't separate.
In a double boiler, melt butter slowly over medium heat. Add shallots and simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes. Whisk in hot water and remove top of double boiler from the heat to cool.
Place top of double boiler back on pot. Whisk in egg yolks and then the rest of the ingredients.
Over low heat, stir constantly until it thickens.
A quick version of this sauce is easy to assemble. In a bowl, combine 1 stick softened butter, 2 tablespoons shallots, 1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, ½ tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon hot sauce. Stir to blend. Place in a ramekin. Serve with crusty bread as a spread or dollop on the meat or fish of your choice.
Yields 1½ cups
1 stick unsalted butter
2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons hot water
3 egg yolks
¼ cup tarragon vinegar
¼ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, chopped
½ tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon hot sauce