Rachel cooked the steaks on the barbecue.

Ingredients

  • 4 x 175g (6oz) sirloin or fillet steaks
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • freshly cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tblsp tarragon vinegar (or white wine vinegar if you don't have tarragon vinegar)
  • 4 tblsp dry white wine
  • 2 tsp finely chopped shallot (or red onion)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 115g (4oz) butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 generous tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 1–2 tsp dijon mustard

Method

  1. If you have the time, prepare the steaks an hour or two before cooking. If they are sirloin, trim off any excess fat. Place the steaks in a dish and rub both sides with the cut clove of garlic, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the cracked black peppercorns. Place a couple of sprigs of rosemary and the garlic under and between the steaks and leave to sit for a bit.
  2. Now make the béarnaise sauce. In a saucepan over a medium heat, boil the vinegar, wine, shallot and a pinch of pepper until completely reduced and just 1 tablespoon of liquid is left in the pan, making sure it does not burn. Add 1 tablespoon of water and take the pan off the heat to cool down almost completely.
  3. When it has cooled down so that you can just hold your hands around the outside of the pan, place the pan on a low heat and whisk in the egg yolks and then gradually add the butter, a few pieces at a time, whisking constantly, until all the butter has been added. As soon as two or three pieces of butter melt in the sauce, add two or three more pieces, and it will gradually thicken. Do not let the pan become too hot; if it does, the mixture will scramble. To prevent this happening, keep taking the pan off and on the heat. If it does look like it's getting a bit hot, then quickly add 1 tablespoon of cold water and take it off the heat for a few seconds while continuing to whisk in the butter.
  4. When all the butter is in, turn off the heat and add the chopped tarragon and Dijon mustard. If the sauce looks very thin, it may be that you were too cautious and the heat was too low, so increase the heat slightly and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens, it should be almost as thick as mayonnaise.
  5. To keep the béarnaise sauce warm, pour it into a heatproof measuring jug. Half-fill a saucepan with hot water from the kettle and place the jug of sauce in the saucepan to keep warm; it will sit quite happily like this for a couple of hours. When the water cools, just put the saucepan on a gentle heat but do not let the water boil too long or the sauce will scramble.
  6. When you are ready to eat, place a grill pan or a heavy frying pan on a high heat (or this can be cooked on a barbeque). Allow the pan to get very hot (it may take 10 minutes). Just before the steaks go in the pan, season with sea salt (flakes if you have them). Cook on one side to a good deep golden colour, then turn just the once.
  7. When cooked, place the steaks on a warm plate (one smaller plate turned upside down sitting over a larger plate, the right way up) and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.