Steak with Bearnaise (Serves 6)
Copyright, 2004 Barefoot in Paris by Ina Garten, Clarkson/Potter Publishers, All Rights Reserved
Photo: Quentin Bacon
For the sauce
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
1/4 cup good white wine
2 tablespoons minced shallots
3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
3 extra-large egg yolks
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
6 (1-inch-thick) rib-eye steaks
Coarsely ground black pepper
For the sauce, put the champagne vinegar, white wine, shallots, 1 tablespoon of the tarragon leaves, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is reduced to a few tablespoons. Cool slightly.
Place the cooled mixture with the egg yolks and 1 teaspoon salt in the jar of a blender and blend for 30 seconds. With the blender on, slowly pour the hot butter through the opening in the lid. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of tarragon leaves and blend only for a second. If the sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon of white wine to thin. Keep at room temperature while you cook the steaks.
Season the steaks liberally with salt and coarsely ground black pepper on both sides. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until it’s almost smoking, then sear the steaks on each side for 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and cook the steaks for about 7 to 10 minutes, turning once, until very rare in the middle. Remove to a plate, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Serve with the béarnaise sauce on the side.