Cafe de Paris Butter with Steak
I love a good steak, my problem is that I am pretty bad at cooking them. I’d have a better chance of getting one of Adriano Zumbo’s cakes right, than I am of cooking a perfectly juicy, medium-rare steak. Luckily, this recipe has saved my steaks for years. It is a recipe for Cafe de Paris butter from the Savoy restaurant in London from 1943, that was handed down to the chefs son. To see the original recipe, click here.
It is a pantry & herb garden raiding recipe. There is a lot of ingredients, but you will probably find you have most of them already in the pantry. I’ve halved the original recipe and it still makes up two large rolls, which you can keep frozen for months. You just cut off about a 1cm thick slice to top each steak. There are other versions out there, with less ingredients, but this really is the best I’ve tried (including at a few good restaurants). If are missing one or two of the ingredients, don’t stress, I don’t think I have ever had them all 100%, this time I had no madeira, so I just added some extra brandy, I couldn’t get fresh chives or tarragon so I used the dried herbs, and I had no marjoram, but it is still great.
This was my first attempt at making a dairy free version, I used Nuttelex Olive Oil Blend, which contains no dairy, and is just vegetable oils (also 70% lower fat than butter, which makes it a bit healthier too). It was slightly different to work with, it stays quite soft, so it is harder to get to set into a firm roll, but the taste was still absolutely fantastic. The butter (or non-butter in this case) melts beautifully, and has the most amazing flavour, which is the perfect match for a good steak, and even better with chips dunked in it! While this really is a great non-dairy version, if you can have dairy, definitely make it with a good quality butter, I didn’t notice much of a taste difference, but let’s face it, butter makes everything better
500g butter, softened (or a dairy free margarine like Nuttelex)
30g tomato paste or ketchup
13g Dijon mustard
13g capers (in brine)
65g brown eschalots
25g fresh curly parsley
25g fresh chives
2.5g dried marjoram
2.5g dried dill
2.5g fresh thyme, leaves only
5 leaves fresh tarragon
Pinch ground rosemary
1 garlic clove, squashed then chopped very finely
4 anchovy fillets (rinsed)
1/2 tbs good brandy
1/2 tbs Madeira
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (make sure gluten free if you can’t have gluten)
1/4 tsp sweet paprika
1/4 tsp curry powder (Keens)
4 white peppercorns
juice 1/2 lemon
zest of ½ lemon
zest ¼ orange
1 tsp ground sea salt
Mix all ingredients with the exception of butter in a glass bowl and leave to marinate for 24 hours in a warm part of the kitchen (a slight
In a processor, blend up the mixture until very fine.
Make sure the butter is softened, not melted, it just needs to be left out of the fridge for a couple of hours before adding it to the mixture. In a large bowl add the butter and the mixture and stir until completely combined.
Lay out a piece of plastic glad wrap that is about 30cm long. Add half of the mixture in a log shape in the middle, and then fold over the plastic wrap and tuck it in over the butter log. Roll up the log in the plastic, and then tie a knot in the one end of the plastic wrap. Then gently squeeze down the butter towards to knotted end, so that you fill up any gap or air bubbles. Then roll into a nice log shape, and tie a know in the other end. Repeat, with the other half of the mixture. If you are struggling with it, just do the best you can, and let it set in the freezer for a little while to harden up. Then roll it again in a new piece of plastic wrap, and it will be much easier to work with.
Put the butter rolls into the freezer, to set, until you need to use them, make sure it is sealed up well. I generally put the plastic wrapped roll, into a zip-lock bag, just to be sure.
When using, just cut a 1cm slice for each steak. Place on top of the cooked steak while it is hot, so that the butter can start to melt over the steak, creating a sauce. It’s also great melted over steamed veggies, etc for a meat free alternative.