Entrecote Steak Sauce - How to make
I will be a rock star in my boss's eyes if I can tell him what is in his favorite sauce of all time. He had entrocote sauce on his steak in Paris and wants more, NOW. He dicsribes it as a brown sauce...my research - what little I could find- tells me it is a butter based sauce.
Does anyone out there know what is in the sauce and how to make it. Many, Many, Many thanks in advance.
How nice that this discussion is staying alive...barely. There is a recipe for the sauce/compound butter on this site:
Sorry, it's in French. Even if you don't read French, the step-by-step pics offer a number of clues.
I haven't tried this, but something very similar. I think it's close to what is served at the original "Cafe de Paris" in Geneva. The butter compound on top of the steak always looked like it came right out of the last pic on the above site--softened clumps (never hard or frozen). Anyway, have a look.
I used to live in Paris around 1982 and have been to Le Relais de Venise - L'entrecote in Saint Germain many times. My brother still lives there today. Since 1992 I live in Los Angeles and there was a L'Entrecote on Wilshire in Beverly Hills while is nearby. I went there one time. Yes, the lettuce salad was there and the steak-sauce-frites were there. The sauce was green and was pretty much the same. I never saw the green sauce seperate in either restaurant.
SOURCE OF THE SAUCE: The following website describes that the original sauce was by Freddy Dumont who ran the first Cafe de Paris in Geneva in 1941. It also describes the salad and desserts a bit:
SALAD: "Simple and to the point. A beautiful plate of soft butter lettuce is arranged like a huge blossom on the plate, and it too has a sauce that will make you want to return for more. The lettuce leaves are chilled, crisp and fresh, the vinaigrette divine. The salad comes to the table before, not after the steak, as is the French custom."
Bon appetit, mes amis
I, like many, have been researching this sauce for a while. This thread is one of the more informative I may add.
What I would like to contribute is an ingredient which I haven't seen posted on the Internet. My cousin worked opposite Le Relaise de Venise and took many clients there for lunch over the years. The sauce was obviously a regular topic of conversation. A secret ingredient which surfaced on a number of occasions was...
Make of it what you will but maybe worth experimenting with...
Like everyone else here, I too have been searching for the secret recipe. I haven't made any of those suggested here...and it could well be that one or two of them get close. I decided to think about my search/recipe experiment in a slightly different way. First let me say that I lived in Geneva for 35 years and was a regular client at both Cafe de Paris and the Relais d'Entrecote. I know how wonderful the sauce is.
So here's what I'm thinking: The sauce was developed sometime between 1930-1942 (circa), in Switzerland. What would be the common ingredients available at that time, that place? Furthermore, it was developed for restaurant use. There had to be certain economies. Also, I think Europe was fairly economically depressed around that period. So I think the choice of ingredients would be whatever the chef found in his kitchen. Common stuff.
Worcestershire sauce? I don't think so. And yet, there's a hint of something like that in the sauce. More commonly available and a staple in almost any Swiss kitchen would be Maggi seasoning (a brown liquid that looks like Worcestershire, but a rather different taste). Other than butter, I am convinced that one of the ingredients is this Maggi seasoning.
What about herbs? This one has me stymied. Fresh herbs at that time weren't available year 'round. And if it is to be served everyday in a restaurant you either have to freeze the sauce, or use what herbs might be available anytime. I'm drawing a blank on this one, because herbs are obviously one of the components of the sauce. Any ideas?
And marrow? Maybe. Marrow bones were certainly cheap at that time...possibly free. Some of it could be substituted for the butter to give that unctuous quality to the sauce. I think I would choose that over the chicken livers as a component.
Wine/lemon juice/vinegar? Not a clue here, although if there is an acidic component, it would probably be wine or vinegar. Lemons are a seasonal thing. Wine could be expensive, but where the recipe was developed, cheap white wine was (and still is) plentiful. Vinegar seems too strong (even in small quantities).
So, some of these thoughts will direct my choices as I experiment with this. Sorry I don't have a recipe to offer. Just some ideas on where one might look to develop this wonderful sauce.
amazing thoughtfulness. i'm going to get back into this now that i'm back in the states and have a hankering for some france... @maria, you sure do know your stuff. yes, i'm talking about the Le Relais de Venise, that's the one i know. i tried to find a picture of the sauce, but failed.
anyhow, will post any findings... thanks for keeping this alive. we'll get there, guys.
Only ever having spent a fleeting afternoon in Geneva way back in the latish fifties. and never having eaten at either of those restaurants, with all due respect, I think you're applying home cooking logic to restaurant cuisine. Most upscale European restaurants of that era always had house-made demi glace on hand, and many were still using the Careme version that is now coming back into vogue, in which a couple of gallons of rich brown stock are further reduced down to a final couple of cups. The stock was made with little to no salt so that the salt would not be concentrated in the final demi glace, but Madeira wine was a fairly standard ingredient. Marrow bones and knuckle bones heavy with cartilage were also used in high proportion in stocks that were destined to be super-reduced into demi glace. The Careme tradition for making demi glace is A LOT EASIER than the "haute cuisine" version of combining brown sauce and sauce Espagnole for a more complicated process that really doesn't gain much for all of the extra work, which is why modern chefs are turning back to Careme.
My suspicion is that any "brown sauce" flavor (Worcestershire, Maggi) would more likely have come from mashed oil packed anchovy fillets, which were a common chef's seasoning of the era.
And finally, dried herbs are a very very old tradition and many chefs of that (and any other) era took pride in growing and drying their own. They were often tied and hung by their stems to concentrate the flavor in the leaves as they dried, thereby better approximating the flavor of fresh herbs.
Good luck in your quest!
Then the semantics of this whole thread have thrown me off. The recipe link you give is not for "sauce," but for a rather complex compound butter. I didn't go to culinary school, but I did spend three years in the late '50s under the tutelage of a master chef well schooled in haute cuisine and classic Ottoman cuisine. But I did not train in Switzerland or France. That said, as far as my experience has gone, both then and in subsequent decades, I have never known a chef who would call that recipe a "sauce." But who knows? Maybe it was called that by the secretive chefs in the restaurant to try to throw other chefs off the track when it comes to duplicating it. However, if the original restaurant served the "sauce" on their steak as your linked recipe describes (the frozen "sauce" [compound butter] is set atop a steak and stuck under a salamander until the exterior of the butter has melted but there is still some of the cold pat resting on the steak), then I find such a subterfuge kind of ridiculous. I mean, it's not like people couldn't see it was a compound butter and not a sauce! There ARE butter sauces, but they aren't frozen and served in that manner. Bearnaise "sauce", as one example, is basically mayonnaise made with drawn butter instead of vegetable oil, and can you imagine frozen sauce bearnaise served atop anything? For that reason........... that recipe just can't be it. It's a fancy compound butter! It is NOT a sauce! The mystery endures.... '-)
And for the record, here are a couple of excellent web pages on classic mother sauces and thair children, as well as classic butter sauces and compound butters.
As I mentioned earlier, the sauce at L'Entrecote in Saint-Germain is most definitely a sauce. An emulsifed sauce. There is nothing being melted, no visible pats of compound butter, and no pools of butter. Though at some L'Entrecote restaurants a compound butter is used. I am looking for a definitive recipe of the emulsified sauce -- the sauce is very similar to a Bearnaise. Compound butter is not what I am seeking. Anyone who can get closer to the prize, I'd be grateful for their response.
jdlloydy I OBVIOUSLY did not read your post clearly! You are suggesting using that compound butter to make a roux, correct? IMO, it would make a lousy roux. You'd have real problems getting the flour to cook as opposed to turn to instant gum. While this recipe you offer is for a compound butter, it's for a rather wet one, therefore not suitable for making a roux.
This will always be an ongoing saga, I suppose, to discover the secret "green" sauce.
I just thought that those who have contributed to this thread thus far over the past 3 years might be interested to see the latest entry in this saga, contributed by one of the food writers at the Guardian newspaper.
It is a bit half-hearted, as she doesn't try to list out all the ingredients in detail, but FWIW, here is the link to the article, which appeared in the online edition of the Guardian yesterday (Sunday):
I lived in Toulouse for 3 years and they had a L'Entrecote there. A few years after I returned to the US I had to make a trip to the bay area. I found out there was a "cafe de paris" there that had l'entrecote. To my pleasant surprise it was just like the French sauce. The also sold the sauce in jars. The restaurant has since closed, but I kept the jar which had a list of ingredients. I will list them here:
"Ingredients: Parsley, Tarragon, Onions, Mustard, Fish Paste, Olive Oil, Butter, Herbs and Spices." Additionally "Directions: Using a warm frying pan, add desired amount of sauce. Stir until melted. Do not overheat to prevent separation."
Personally, I don't think there is onion in the sauce--I think it's shallots. Also, I found out there is a L'Entrecote that opened in New York. My company has its headquarters there so I'll try it out if I can swing a trip there.
After reading a lot of the recipes I thought I must add my story to the mix. I have been trying to duplicate the sauce for many years as well. As a young flight attendant for TWA many years a go I flew many times to Paris and was taken to the location we just called the Entrecote. It was just around the corner from the hotel we started staying...The Meridian... I think. On one of my visits I asked one of the waitresses if she could give me just one ingredient in the sauce that I might not be able to guess...she said marrow, in French of course. I think this might explain the unusual look of the sauce to Americans...we do not use bone marrow. If the sauce sits for a while it does look like it separates in a strange way as if it was butter, but I don't think it is. Of course it could have some butter in it too. I have taken the time to cook (more or less weep) the sliced bones so the marrow starts to melt and makes the unusual smelling stuff, and then add what I think might else be in it. So far I'm not impressed with my sauces, but hope to find the blend one of these days. I think the mustard, wine, green herbs (maybe sage, just a hint) are added, but in what amount is the key.
Part of the problem in your search could be that entrecote isn't a sauce. It's a cut of beef, like filet or NY strip or ribeye.
Edit: Starting a post, getting called away and coming back 15 minutes later to finish it is a surefire way too look like an idiot. Sorry, Caroline :-)
re: Sam Fujisaka
This confirms why it's so hard to find a good jury! Wow, I didn't know there were this many versions of the stuff. I just happen to be looking for "the" recipe knowing that the internet must have it by now. I'm a retired TWA f/a and often ate at the restaurant because our hotel (the one we stayed at in the later years) was right around the corner. I still remember my first visit in 1968. Everybody just calls it L'Entrecote and of course that is steak in French. I asked one of the waitresses one night for a hint..just one of the ingredients that she could give me...and she said marrow. So the one recipe that suggested using the bone marrow is correct. The other ingredients are more simple...just some french mustard, and yes the green herbs (maybe just a little parsley and tarragon) I have tried using the bone marrow and you do not need butter when using this. A little white pepper too. Anyway mine is not exact,but very close. I'd like the real thing too!!
Caroline1 you may never see this post, but anyone who has been to Paris and eaten at L'entrecote need say no more. There is no confusion about the restaurant or the term "entrecote sauce." The writer is not talking about the Cafe de Paris, it seems you are the only one here who has not had the pleasure. I have been on French sites tonite looking for the same. Le Relais de Paris or L'entrecote is not a chain. Chains have popped up with the same concept but nobody has the famous sauce. I lived there in 1981, last there in 1986 and it is unforgettable and I have been dieing for it. I am going to try one of the recipes suggested above. L'Entrecote for US folks is Flank Steak, it is a cut, it doesn't mean "steak".
The sauce is green green green and probably a butter or marrow base. I want to send a scientist from the "Body Farm", I am sure they could decode it. The restaurant has been there for over 100 years, a "Relais" was an old term for basically a "Truck Stop" so, it is the Truck Stop of Paris and I have had the uncomparable pleasure many times but far too long ago. Let's keep looking, I understand the original owners fought about the sauce recipe to their deaths. Just go ahead and call it, entrecote sauce, we know where your boss ate!
Lots of "close but no cigar" info in this thread. I've been to The Relais de Venise, or L'Entrecôte, to the initiated, a hundred times. To copy the sauce, you'd have to copy the place. Pretty much, although attempted, can't be done. For the most complete info just check Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L'E...
The photo there will make your mouth water, literally!
On December 9th, 2008, Paristruckstop wrote:
"L'Entrecote for US folks is Flank Steak, it is a cut, it doesn't mean "steak"."
Sorry, but I missed this post addressed to me when it was originally posted. Didn't see it until this morning, so in the interest of curtailing and clearing out misinformation for the sake of those who may believe everything they read on these boards, an "entrecote" steak is NOT a flank steak!
While terminology for cuts of beef, and indeed everything practically from slaughter to consumer sales, has changed greatly in the past fifty years, it has not changed this much!
In traditional culinary terms, an entrecote steak is from the rib portion, and in French, it simply means "between the ribs." When I learned to cook (in classic times!), when the rib primal had the tenderloin removed and was down to the rib bones and flesh, the "entrecote" steak was the cuts of steak cut from between ninth and eleventh ribs. That means there were a total of four entrecote steaks per beef carcass. An expensive cut of meat, even back in the day. In today's culinary terms, in the U.S., when restaurants want to fancy up their menu so they can charge more, an "entrecote" is often a NY strip, which is also known by other names.
For your reading pleasure, check out these links and you'll also learn how tough and chewy a flank steak is and why it would NEVER be served as an entrecote steak. Well, assuming the chef knew anything at all about meats!
The problem with your boss having "entrecote sauce" at a cafe in Paris, is that "entrecote" is a steak, not a sauce. It is a specific cut of beef. It is from the French, "entre" meaning "between," and "cote" meaning "ribs." In traditional French butchery, a side of ribs, when cut into steaks, was cut into entrecote steaks and rib steaks bu cutting next to the rib . The space between the ribs and the thickness of the ribs determined how thick the entrcote was and how thick the rib steak was. On the other hand, who knows? Maybe in Paris you can buy bottles of A-1 Entrecote Sauce?
Some are assuming you're talking about the sauce served with entrecote steaks at Cafe Paris. The problem with that is Cafe Paris (the famous original) is in Geneva, Switzerland, not Paris, France. But just in case they've burst forth with a satellite location in Paris, here's a discussion and recipes for a whole bunch of sauces that may or may not be similar to Cafe Paris' closely guarded proprietary sauce.
Maybe it would help cut back on the wild speculation if you got the name of the actual restaurant in Paris, France, where your boss had this sauce to die for...? '-)
There are several restaurants operated by the same extended family. Some are in Geneva, some in Paris, and there are at least two versions of the sauce. One is a compound butter from Cafe de Paris, and the other, from the restaurant named L'Entrecote, is a rich green-colored sauce that is definitely butter-based.
The Paris newspaper Le Monde reports that the sauce as served by Le Relais de Venise – L'Entrecôte is made from chicken livers, fresh thyme and thyme flowers, full cream (19 percent butterfat), white Dijon mustard, butter, water, salt, and pepper.
Two servings of entrecôte Café de Paris, one rare and one well doneAccording to Le Monde, the chicken livers are blanched in one pan with the thyme until they start to turn colour. In a second pan, the cream is reduced on low heat with the mustard and infused with the flavour of the thyme flowers. The chicken livers are then finely minced and pressed through a strainer into the reduced cream. As the sauce thickens, the butter is incorporated into it with a little water, it is beaten smooth, and fresh-ground salt and pepper are added. The London newspaper The Independent, however, reports that the proprietor of Le Relais de Venise – L'Entrecôte has dismissed the Le Monde report as inaccurate
So, who knows.
The Le Monde report is inaccurate.
I've had the famous L'Entrecote sauce at the restaurant of the same name in the Saint Germain area of Paris a few times. L'Entrecôte is only part of the restaurant name -- the full name is Le Relais de l'Entrecôte.
Lots more about the history, and other restaurant locations throughout France and in Geneva -- all the branches are owned by a father and his children -- can be found on Wikipedia.
It is a green, green, green sauce. Loaded with herbs. Looks almost like pesto.
No chicken livers, no brown sauce.
My recollection is that it is a trumped-up bearnaise -- it's so loaded with finely chopped herbs that it has turned green. Definitely butter-based, and with quite a bit more lemon and shallots than regular bearnaise.
L'Entrecote sauce is served with the l'entrecote (the steak) and the always accompanying frites. Fantastic with both. I could drink the stuff.
After I had the sauce for the first time, I was hooked, much like the OP's boss.
I set about to find the [secret] recipe.Though it was tough, I found a recipe very close to what I'd had in Paris.
Oh drat! I was going to post the recipe, but for the moment cannot find it on my computer. Will search further and report back.
Sorry for the delay in returning to the thread.
There are two styles of the sauce. The one attributed to Café de Paris is a pre-made compound butter that contains a great many ingredients that sound neither authentic or French. When that compound butter is place atop the steaks, it melts and forms pools of butter. There are many pictures of this online.
The sauce from restaurant L'Entrecote in St. Germain des Pres is much different — the butter stays in solution and the butter sauce is packed with herbs, so much so the sauce is green. It’s definitely a Bearnaise-style sauce, and to make it, you use the same technique as you would to make a béarnaise.
It contains anchovies, and I've read several times that the sauce contains chicken livers (perhaps for richness) but I've never detected any liver flavor. Marrow might be an addition, though I doubt it because of the labor and expense involved, and L’Entrecote restaurant must make 30 liters of this stuff per evening.
Here are three recipes: The first is the one I think is the closest. The second is quite similar and contains whole eggs. Last, for comparison is the Café de Paris recipe for the compound butter, which is not the same sauce at all.
1. This is the closest I've found, and tastes just like it:
1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
2 tablespoons minced shallots
4 anchovy fillets, chopped
1/4 cup low-sodium beef broth or homemade chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil
Either using the pan the steaks were cooked in, or another pan:
Add the wine to pan (and deglaze, if necessary, stirring up the brown bits). Add the broth, shallots, anchovies, and cook until the liquid reduces to a glaze. Remove from heat, whisk in the butter 1 T. at a time, then add the herbs.
2. This version has egg yolks, more like a béarnaise/liaison hybrid:
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon, divided
3 large egg yolks
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Boil wine, vinegar, shallots, and 1 tablespoon tarragon in a small heavy saucepan until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve set into a medium metal bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids. Whisk yolks into vinegar mixture, then set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until yolks have thickened slightly (do not scramble). Whisk in butter 1 piece at a time, adding each piece before previous one has melted completely. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice, remaining tablespoon tarragon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste). Serve steaks with sauce.
3. The Café de Paris compound butter
1 lb. butter, soft when ready to use
1 oz. catsup
1/2 oz prepared hot mustard
1/2 oz. capers
2 oz. shallots, roughly chopped
1 oz. parsley, roughly chopped
1 oz. chives
1/2 t marjoram, dried
1/2 t dill weed, dried
1/2 t thyme, dried
10 tarragon leaves
1 clove garlic
4 anchovy filets
1 t cognac
1 t maderia
1/2 t worcestershire sauce
1/2 t paprika
1 t curry powder
4 grains black peppercorns (my note: 4 grains? - 4 peppercorns?)
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/2 orange
1/4 t salt
Combine all the ingredients (except the butter) into a bowl and let it
stand in a warm place for 24 hours. Grind into a puree and fold into
the soft butter.
re: maria lorraine
I ate this recently and I could swear there was some lemongrass in there somewhere. I will admit that I don't know what chervil tastes like exactly, so perhaps that's it. I was also fairly convinced there were anchovies (cooked, which softens the flavour a lot), not liver. And yes, it's a green sauce and not brown. I think it's one of the better mysteries of the world myself.
By the way, if you ever go there, the Mont Blanc dessert is awesome (if you like chestnuts). Expensive, but worth it.
re: maria lorraine
thanks for being one of the only people around (even outside of chowhound) to post a concrete recipe to try.
i just made this 1st recipe of yours and i have to say it's not quite it (constructive criticism). for one, it was way to much anchovy, i had to go into emergency save mode* (my fault, should've realized it was too much earlier). also, it definitely needs more grease/fat. we did it without the pan juice b/c i believe the real one is grilled, not pan-fried, but i think the sauce needs it.
*not saying this is how L'entrecote does it, but this is what i did to try and adjust: added some dijon mustard and a little lemon. plus, I used faux fillet b/c the steak they use is definitely not the l'entrecote anymore.
overall, the sauce was pretty good, but i think we've got a bit more experimenting to go before perfection. when i do again, will use half the anchovy and try the pan grease. i was just at L'entrecote 1 month ago (i live in France now) and you can see the grease separate from the sauce.
i suggest less people discuss semantics—we all know we're talking about the CHAIN of restaurants owned by the kin of the Gineste de Saurs family, and not the actual cut of beef—and more people experiment with actual recipes, then we may just achieve my life goal of eating this everyday.
look forward to hearing about other trials.
I think we may have had different sauce experiences. When you say you can see the "grease separate from the sauce," that's not at all my experience dining at Le Relais de l'Entrecôte in Saint-Germain-des-Prés a handful of times. This restaurant is run by Marie-Paule Burrus, a daughter of Paul Gineste de Saurs, and her son Paul-Christian Burrus.
Perhaps you've dined at the original restaurant -- Le Relais de Venise son entrecôte -- in the 17th arrondisement, also called L'Entrecôte Porte-Maillot. It's run by another daughter, Hélène Godillot, and her son Patrick-Alain Godillot. From what I've heard, here they serve something more like #3, a herbed compound butter that melts and forms pools of butter.
(A son, Henri Gineste de Saurs, runs yet a separate company, called simply L'Entrecôte, but his restaurants are in southern France.)
What I've had at L'Entrecôte Saint-Germain is #2 with a truckload of herbs (tarragon, chevil, parsley, others) added to it. It's a bearnaise/hollandaise sauce with a huge amount of chopped herbs -- so much so that the sauce is visibly green, and the egg yolks create an emulsion so there are no pools of butter or visible grease.
I don't know exactly what "grease separate from the sauce" means visually, whether that's like the pools of butter in the #3 Cafe de Paris compound butter (named for the restaurant in Geneva after which Paul modeled L'Entrecôte Porte-Maillot), or more like tiny droplets of molten butter within the sauce, which would represent a broken emulsion. See pics on the web for details.
I envy your living in France.
Are you looking for a Bonnefoy - bordelaise? Add 1 tsp shallots to 1 tbsp hot butter; brown; add cup of good white wine, pinch pepper, bay leaf, sprig of thyme; reduce to two TBSP, add cup brown or espagnole sauce; reduce 15 min; strain; bring to boil; correct; poach two oz beef marrow 3-5 minutes; drain; add 1 tbsp butter while adding marrow.
The key is the brown or espagnole--a traditional brown sauce from pork fat or lard, carrot, onion, thyme, bayleaf, brown roux, veal stock, white wine, and tomato puree.