Café de Paris” sauce is a sauce made of butter, usually served with grilled meat. It is traditionally served with a “Café de Paris” steak. The Café de Paris sauce was popularized in the 1940s by the brasserie “Café de Paris” in Geneva. Several restaurants in France copied the concept of a brasserie with a menu offering an unique dish with a steak served with this sauce.
Ingredients and Preparation of Café de Paris Sauce
The recipes and ingredients of the Café de Paris sauce can vary depending on the secrets of preparation. The sauce is a roux and can be made from notable ingredients such as poultry broth, fresh thyme, fresh cream, mustard, butter, water, salt and pepper.
Other ingredients may include marjoram, dill, rosemary, tarragon, garlic, parsley, shallots and anchovies.
A variation of the sauce is the “Café de Paris Butter”, made with the same ingredients but presented as a soft butter.
Café de Paris butter: a compound butter
Café de Paris butter is basically a compound butter. Its distinctive feature is the impressive number of ingredients.
Of course you can, according to your mood or taste, change this recipe to suit you!
Café de Paris butter ingredients
The ingredient list is very extensive and the exact recipe is kept secret, so only a few people in the world can argue that they know the exact ingredients and their amounts. Take the following list as a “try-out!”
- 2 lbs (1kg) butter
- 4 1/2 ounces (125 g) shallots
- 4 1/2 ounces (125 g) onions
- 3/4 cup (2 dl) white wine
- 1 3/4 ounces (50 g) anchovy fillets (drained)
- 1 tbsp (10 g) minced garlic
- 1 3/4 cup (75 g) parsley
- 1/3 ounce (10 g) sage
- 2/3 ounce (20 g) fresh tarragon
- 1 teaspoon (2 g) marjoram
- 1 teaspoon (4 g) thyme
- 3/4 tbsp (12 g) English mustard
- 2 teaspoons (5 g) curry
- 2 teaspoons (5 g) paprika
- 4 teaspoons (20 g) salt
- 3/4 teaspoon (2 g) white pepper
- 3 1/3 tbsp (50ml) lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) worcester sauce
- 2 tbsp (30 g) meat glaze
- 2 teaspoons (10ml) Maggi Aroma
Wow! I told you there might be a lot of various ingredients… Note that the real recipe is kept secret by the Cafe de Paris’s staff or people who worked with them at some point. So we can only make approximations.
Café de Paris butter preparation
- Finely chop onion and shallots.
- Make them reduce along with white wine.
- Mix with garlic, anchovies and all herbs.
- Combine all these ingredients with melted butter.
- Mix quickly to make it foam.
- Put in air-proof containers – or plastic wraps - and keep in the fridge.
- You can replace a part volume of butter with margarine, but don’t replace all the butter or it will kill the taste!
- If fresh herbs and spices are not available, you can make use of dried ones by taking care to reduce their amount (around 1/3 instead, because dried herbs are more strong and fragrant).
- The English mustard can be replaced by any type of mustard.
- Butter made with fresh herbs sustains for a shorter time.
If you freeze compound butter, do it in small portions that will allow you to dose more easily and to limit losses since like any other frozen product, it can not be refrozen.
Café de Paris Butter is recommended to accompany grilled meat and fish. In the end, you can drop some compound butter in a deglazed sauce for example, or spread on croutons… You can use this tasty homemade butter directly on toasts too.
Have a nice time spreading!
Eric J. Brandy