Sizzling, seared steak



Photograph: Jason Lowe

If you’re planning on breaking out the grill this summer, then you’ll be wanting our Head Chef’s secret weapon: Café de Paris butter.

Years ago, on a trip to Toulouse, I came across a restaurant called L’Entrecôte which served just one dish: steak frites. Judging by the queues outside each day, this simple concept certainly worked. I had to see what the fuss was all about. What I experienced was fast food, French style: a simple mixed leaf and walnut salad to start, and then steak served with a “secret recipe” butter sauce and the sort of fries that are as much a signature of French cooking as frogs’ legs.

This recipe is my version of that sensational butter – it works well with just about any grilled meat or fish. It’s also great on vegetables, new potatoes or as a way to liven up anything on the barbecue. The ingredient list may be long, but the results are worth it.

Café de Paris butter
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 10g capers – finely chopped
  • 1 shallot – peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove – peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 small bunch fresh parsley – chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme leaves – chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh tarragon leaves – chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 250g softened butter

Mix all of the ingredients except the butter in a bowl, leave for a couple of hours and then blitz in a food processor. Add the butter and mix it together.

Wrap the butter in cling film to form a 2cm-diameter “sausage” of butter. Refrigerate until set, then slice and place on top of grilled meat and grill until it just starts to melt.