Amid the sizzle and char of a perfectly grilled steak, the slowly melting golden edged coin of herbed and spiced Cafe de Paris butter turn into a rich, sumptuous sauce. Here’s how to make Cafe de Paris butter at home.
FOMO is real and it hits me hardest when I’m trying to choose a sauce to go with my steak. Mushroom? Red wine? Peppercorn?
But that’s all moot if I can order Cafe de Paris butter instead.
Much more than just a disc of regular butter plopped atop your meat, Cafe de Paris butter is a carefully flavoured ‘compound butter’ – a mixture of all kinds of unlikely ingredients including curry powder, tomato ketchup and anchovies.
Together these elements, which shouldn’t really work at all, create a level of umami that dials up the flavour of your steak – be it meat, vegetable or alternative protein – to dizzying heights.
And as the butter melts languidly over your steak, it creates a beautiful sauce that even the best jus or creamy velouté couldn’t rival.
This butter also works well on top of barbecued fish, chargrilled field mushrooms or eggplant slices or even tofu. In fact, the trouble with having a log of Cafe de Paris butter in your fridge is that you want to use it on just about everything!
How to make Cafe de Paris butter
Don’t let the expansive list of ingredients in this recipe put you off. It is a long list, but once you’ve got them all together, the process is easy – and totally worth it.
The butter will keep in the fridge for a few weeks or you can wrap it up more and freeze it no worries. It should keep in the freezer for months.
Here’s what you need:
– 250g unsalted butter, softened and chopped
– 1 large shallot
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 5 anchovy fillets
– ½ tsp capers, rinsed
– ¼ cup parsley
– 1 tbsp thyme (I used 1/2 lemon thyme 1/2 regular thyme)
– 1 tbsp chives
– 1 tbsp brandy
– 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
– dash of Tabasco sauce
– 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
– Finely grated zest of a lemon
– 2 tbsp lemon juice
– 1 tsp Dijon mustard
– 1 tsp salt flakes
– 1 tsp of Keen’s curry powder
– ½ tsp smoky paprika
– ½ tsp cracked black pepper
– ½ tsp Szechuan peppercorns, crushed and chopped (optional)
Here’s what you do:
1. Chop everything quite finely, you don’t want any big lumps or whole leaves in the butter.
2. Combine all the ingredients with the butter and mix well. You can use a food processor, but as long as the butter is soft, a fork then a spoon will do the same and you get more of a feel for the food.
3. Spoon the butter mixture onto a sheet of cling film in a rough sausage shape – about 3-5cm high – then wrap up the long edges and squeeze both ends to get all the air out. Hold the loose ends of the plastic and roll the sausage into a firm cylinder.
4. Tie off the ends and pop in the fridge. Once it’s hard, the butter can be sliced into discs when you’re ready to serve. Just remember to peel off the plastic once you’ve cut the pieces off.
A ½cm thick slice is all you need for each steak.
Apart from meat or veggie steaks, I’ve also seen Cafe de Paris butter used on top of fries and slow-cooked baked potato – even steamed vegetables.
It’s so tasty and versatile. All the flavours in the compound butter somehow work in perfect unison to raise the profile of pretty much any dish you put it with.
And also, let’s face it, butter.