icon Steak Café de Paris
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Documentation License.

Café de Paris sauce is a rich butter-based sauce to be used with grilled meats. When served with a beef steak, the dish is known as "Entrecôte Café de Paris". Interestingly, the recipe does not come from Paris but from Geneva in the 1940s, from the Café de Paris restaurant then owned by one Arthur-François Dumont.

The restaurant claims the ingredients and method of preparation to be a trade secret. However, in June 2007, Le Monde leaked a story claiming it had the original recipe consisting of chicken livers, fresh thyme and thyme flowers, heavy cream, white Dijon mustard, butter, water, salt, and pepper. Le Monde wrote that the chicken livers would first be blanched in one pan with the thyme until they started to turn color, while in a second pan the cream would reduced on low heat with the mustard and infused with the flavor of the thyme flowers. The chicken livers would then be finely minced and pressed through a strainer into the reduced cream. Butter would be incorporated into the thickening sauce, along with a little water, beaten smooth, and fresh-ground salt and pepper would be added.

A typical Café de Paris sauce has the color and consistency of pea soup.

Here is our favorite version of this dish:


For the steaks:
  • 4 medium entrecôte steaks
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
For the sauce:
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 dry sherry or white wine
  • 2 anchovy fillets, crushed
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat a heavy skillet over high heat
  2. Rub steaks with olive oil, salt and pepper
  3. Sear steaks on both sides or until well browned. Set aside.
  4. Note: For a 1/2-inch thick steak, for rare cook 2 minutes per side, for medium rare cook 3 minutes on one side and 2 minutes after turning, for medium cook 3 minutes per side, and for well done cook 4 minutes per side.
  5. Reduce heat and add the butter to the pan. Add the onions and sauté until soft.
  6. Add the sherry and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
  7. Toss the fish, herbs, lemon and mustard together and add to the pan. Add more butter if needed. Season.with salt and pepper.
  8. Arrange steaks on plates, ladle the sauce on top and serve with thin french fries.
  9. YIELD: Serves 4


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Last updated: June 1, 2013