This is a classic French sauce that can go with most meats, fish, and vegetables. Traditionally only the liquid from the reduction is used, but I like to just blend the cooked shallots into the final sauce.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 50 ml champagne vinegar
  • 25 g finely chopped French shallot
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 150 g salted butter
  • 85 g egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 g flaked salt
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 small bunch tarragon, leaves picked and chopped
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • lightly steamed baby vegetables (baby carrot, baby fennel, baby Japanese turnips, green beans), to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Place the vinegar, shallot, bay leaf and 50 ml water in a small saucepan. Simmer over low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, but there is no colour on the shallots. Remove the bay leaf, then transfer the mixture into a tall vessel that fits a stick blender.
  2. Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until it begins to bubble.
  3. Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, salt, and Dijon mustard to the shallot reduction and blend with a stick blender.
  4. While the butter is still hot and with the motor running, gradually pour into the yolk mixture and blend until thick and emulsified. Add the chopped tarragon and season with pepper, then blend again until well combined. Serve warm with steamed baby vegetables.


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Photography by Adam Liaw.