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I may have discovered the secret to L’Entrecote’s famous sauce!

December 9, 2009

Every time we go to Paris we must eat at the very touristy Relais de L’entrecote. I would normally stay clear of a restaurant that is so touristy but this one is irresistible. Why? It is not about the perfect pomme frites (killer twice fried, French Fries) or the classic mixed green salad that everyone gets. It is not even about the steak (L’entrecote) which the restaurant is named after. It is about the sauce!! This magical green, almost intoxicating sauce. It has a deep herbaceous quality to it. You want to drink it. It is the definition of sauce. It is the reason why people love sauce in general. It makes the meal. I have tried to mind taste my way into re-creating the recipe as a musician plays a song just by hearing it. I have been close in the past but last night my family agrees that I got it. Even my kids love this green sauce. It is the kind of sauce that you can’t really identify any one ingredient but they all come together to create a perfect harmony in your mouth. There is richness, there is a cleansing sharpness, there is a deep, complex flavor that makes you press the sauce against the roof of your mouth to try to extract all the flavor.

Here is the recipe! Give it a try and see what you think. You will feel like a mad scientist or a kid playing “chef” as you mix all these different ingredients together but trust me. The outcome is worth it. Ultimately our favorite travel mates Kimo and Joey will tell me if I have got it or not. If you have been to L’entrecote let me know your thoughts.

Secret French Steak Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large shallots
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons mustard
1 bunch tarragon
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Peel and slice the shallots.
Peel and roughly chop the garlic.
Add the olive oil to a small pot over medium heat.
Add the garlic and shallots and cook until soft and slightly colored.
Add the chicken stock. Simmer for three minutes.

Pull the tarragon leaves off of the stems and put them in a blender.
Add the remaining ingredients to the blender.
Carefully pour the chicken stock mixture into the blender.
Puree until completely smooth.
Pour back into the pan and bring to a boil. Cook for one minute. If the sauce is too thin simmer for a few more minutes.

Pour over slices of medium rare (or as you like it) strip steak or your choice of steak. Serve with potatoes or of course Pomme Frites! Try to resist doing shots of the sauce.
Recipe Notes
There is a famous restaurant in Paris that serves only steak and pomme frites. You only have to order what temperature you want the steak. It comes smothered in this magical green “secret sauce”. The recipe is closely guarded. This is my version of that sauce.

Serves: 8.  Preparation Time is 30 minutes.  Inactive Preparation Time is 00 minutes.  Cooking Time is 10 minutes.
Eat well, Enjoy life, Be happy

17 Comments leave one →
  1. Ira permalink
    December 9, 2009 1:07 pm

    There is a similar place in New York called Le Relais de Venise, which is a branch of a place in Paris that I think, is owned by the same family as the place you mentioned and the sauces are supposedly the same. Some people say there is chicken liver in the sauce. When I ate at the NY branch I thought the strongest tastes in the sauce were mustard and tarragon, which you have included. There was a bit of a livery taste which, I thought, came from the meat. It was delicious. In any case, I like your recipe and will try it.

    I was a fan of yours on TNFNS and was disappointed you did not win. It was no contest in my opinion!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      December 10, 2009 7:51 am

      Hello Ira, good to know! I will have to check that out next time I am in NY. Thanks for the support. Have a great holiday!

      • Ira permalink
        December 16, 2009 10:44 am

        Second visit to the New York Le Relais de Venise (L’Entrecote) last night (590 Lexington Avenue/52nd St). Was even better than the first time. The place was fairly crowded, although not packed. I think it is catching on.
        Definitely check it out next time you are in NY.
        Have not had a chance to try your recipe yet, but hope to soon!

      • Jeffrey Saad permalink
        December 17, 2009 10:05 am

        Awesome Ira, I can’t wait to go! happy holidays! Jeffrey 🙂

      • Ira permalink
        December 17, 2009 2:13 pm

        Not to beat this topic to death, but I am sure that the sauce has butter in it. Noticed that your recipe only has olive oil in it – and not even that much.

  2. Nicki permalink
    December 10, 2009 8:58 am

    Jeffrey: What kind of mustard did you use, Dijon?

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      December 11, 2009 10:46 am

      Hello Nicki, Yes, Dijon, happy holidays 🙂

  3. JMSinEssex permalink
    December 12, 2009 8:54 am

    Relais de l’entrecote would make a very good name for that Paris restaurant, but that isn’t the real name — as Ira suggests, the proper name is Relais de Venise while everyone calls it The Entrecote. This is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere in the world and has been for 20 years — yum! I would characterize it as being very popular as opposed to “very touristy,” which it is not. Plenty of Americans as well as other nationalities but the core clientele is mostly French folk. That said, it’s been a few years since my last visit . . . Your sauce, as interpreted by me, was delicious; I didn’t qute find it a match, but I sure did enjoy it!

    My favorite Entrecote story from 25 years ago, at least: two male friends enjoyed a classic Entrecote dinner and when it was over they sat back in their chairs, eyed one another across the table and agreed that once was not enough! “Encore une fois,” they said to the waitor and without batting an eyelash, were served the whole meal a second time from the salad through to dessert!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      December 12, 2009 9:18 am

      Thank you JMSinEssex, I hear you 🙂 Happy Holidays and thank you for checking out the blog and trying the recipe. Best, Jeffrey 🙂

  4. December 13, 2009 7:15 pm

    I love love love entrecote! There used to a restaurant in Beverly Hills in the early 90s that served entrecote along with this gorgeous salad made with butter lettuce which was served whole. 🙂

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      December 14, 2009 4:28 pm

      good stuff. Happy Holidays My Persian Kitchen 🙂

  5. Scott permalink
    January 30, 2010 4:37 pm

    This sauce was pretty close. Here is a version of the sauce with butter and white wine. Getting even closer, I think.

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink
      January 31, 2010 9:19 pm

      well done, thanks 🙂

  6. Lara permalink
    July 9, 2010 8:29 pm

    I just came accross your recipe, and I have interestingly made a very similar version to it previously this evening, but added butter instead of olive oil and used apple cider vinegar (as that was the only vinegar I had and I was craving the taste!). The problem with mine is that it felt too sour, and while tasty, I wouldn’t say it’s that close to Le relais’ sauce.
    How do you get the good consistency? I found myself obliged to add flour to it to give it some thickness. Any recommendations Jeffrey (for both the taste and the consistency)?
    Thank you!

    • Jeffrey Saad permalink*
      July 13, 2010 12:42 am

      Hello Lara, Well done. I got the thickness from the herbs themselves being pureed in the blender. Tarragon is the key flavor for sure along with some parsley. I just ate there last night and noticed a green peppercorn flavor which I had not picked up before. I am going to try that when I return. Take care and good luck. Let’s get this sauce nailed down 🙂 Warmly, Jeffrey 🙂

      • Lara permalink
        July 14, 2010 6:42 am

        I’ll try that too! So far Scott Anderson’s recipe worked best (I had to play a bit with the quantitites to get the best flavor, specially that I worked with white grape juice instead of white wine). Still not getting the consistency though! 🙂
        I’ll tell u how it works with the peppercorn (will try it this week)

      • Jeffrey Saad permalink*
        July 15, 2010 2:04 am

        good luck! keep me posted, thanks!

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