Besh Basic Hollandaise Sauce

Condiments and Sauces

Recipe courtesy of Chef John Besh, New Orleans, LA

Serves 8 to 12

  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup clarified unsalted butter (at 135˚-145˚F)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • salt and Tabasco sauce to taste

Besh Basic Hollandaise Sauce

 Hollandaise Sauce

Click image to enlarge


In a small saucepan, reduce the wine with the shallot, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaf, and vinegar by half and strain.
Use 2 tablespoons of the reduction to continue the recipe and save the remaining tablespoons in the refrigerator for the future.In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the 2 tablespoons of the above reduction with a tablespoon of water the lemon juice and separate the 4 egg yolks and add.

Place the bowl over a pot of boiling water so the bowl sits securely and you’re able to whisk while the egg mixture cooks.
Cook it to the point that it’s thick enough to heavily coat the back of a spoon and remove the bowl from the pot. Place the bowl on a secure surface or have someone hold the bowl while you continue to whisk the egg mixture while adding a slow steady stream of warm clarified butter into the eggs. Once all of the butter has been added, adjust the seasonings with the cayenne, Tabasco and salt as necessary. 
Place the finished sauce in a warm gravy boat and serve relatively soon. It will last an hour or so, but it’s best just after it’s been made and still warm.

Chef's note: It is important to constantly whisk the egg mixture so that you don’t end up with scrambled eggs instead of Hollandaise.


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