Thursday, January 7, 2010

The "entrecote" sauce is revealed-- english translation

This must be one of the best kept culinary secrets in France. "L'entrecote" is known internationally for its one dish: "steak frites" with a fantastic sauce. My family has been going there for 20 years, twice a week when in paris. My parents know the waiters and show them grand kid pictures and we have collectively tried to find out the secret of the sauce.

The restaurant is situated in the west "porte" of Paris, the Porte Maillot. I grew up in the neighborhoods next to it, both "Neuilly sur Seine" and the more "prolo" "Courbevoie/La defense" when I was a kid. The restaurant has opened branches in London, Geneva, and I read in the Le monde article, in Barcelona.

A family feud between the sisters running the shop has led to new restaurants in Paris, one in the 16th arrondissement and one in montparnasse. Today the french magazine "Le monde" is running is piece divulging the secret sauce. I have no idea how they got it but I sure hope it is kosher...

So, here it is in french and then in english

Ses ingrédients sont le foie de volaille, le thym frais et la fleur de thym, la crème fleurette, la moutarde blanche, le beurre et l'eau, le sel, le poivre. Ustensiles : une casserole, un mixer, un chinois.

En voici la progression. D'une part, faire blondir doucement les foies de volaille avec du thym frais et les faire légèrement colorer. D'autre part, faire réduire à feu doux la crème liquide (fleurette) avec la moutarde blanche de Dijon et parfumer à la fleur de thym fraîche. Mixer finement les foies de volaille, puis les passer au chinois dans la crème réduite. Attention à l'évolution de la sauce : lorsqu'elle épaissit, incorporer le beurre ferme et un peu d'eau. Rectifier, sel et poivre du moulin. Rien de plus simple, en apparence. Cette recette exige cependant un certain tour de main, c'est-à-dire plus d'application que d'inspiration. Elle doit moins au génie d'un grand cuisinier qu'aux mille inconnus modestes qui, depuis des générations, ont tourné la spatule de bois dans la casserole.


In english it means


The ingredients are: poultry liver, fresh thyme, thyme flower, whip cream,, white mustard, butter, water, salt, pepper.

Here is the process: first, slowly brown the poultry liver with fresh thyme. Then reduce on low heat the whip cream with the white mustard and add some flower of thyme. Finely cut the poultry livers and strain them through a "filter" (chinois) in the cream reduction. Be careful with how the sauce evolves when it gets a bit thicker, put in butter and a bit of water. Add salt and pepper to taste.

It sounds simple in writing but in fact this recipe requires a lot of trial and error. It owes less to the culinary genius of a great chef than the thousand anonymous cooks that have beat in casseroles for generations.


The BIG SURPRISE for me is the absence of garlic. I would have sworn there was garlic in this sauce, I would still swore today, but apparently there isn't.... I thought it was a curled bearnaise sauce with garlic... I have to try to replicate this recipe. I have no idea if this is a prank by the "le monde".

2 comments:

Yves said...

Marc, I even saw a L'Entrecote Relais de Venise in NYC, I think it was on Lexington Ave around 51st St.
In any case, thanks for sharing the recipe!

Alain said...

Hi,
This is Alain.
I am sorry but this is not the good recipe !
As a french chef, leaving in France, i can tell you that is wrong ! I have the good one and i'm about to write a book with everything on it.
Talk to you soon.
Sorry for my english