If there is one secret little ingredient in your fridge (aside from the vodka of course), to use at a moment's notice, enlivening a simple grilled steak, then this is it.

Café de Paris butter belongs to a simple group of French flavourings known as compound butter. What this simply means is butter that has been highly seasoned with various flavours then left to set in the refrigerator. Once hardened it is sliced and placed on a freshly grilled piece of meat, usually steak, but fish and chicken will work as well. In this case the butter has been flavoured with a heady mix of parsley, garlic and orange, giving an unbelievably exotic flavour to your dish.

All it does is melt, unctuously yielding up its flavours and sweet buttery nature. The only accompaniments required are a glass of feisty red, a few sprigs of watercress and some fresh bread.

Ingredients

  • 250 gm (1/2 lb) unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbs parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs grated orange rind
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper.
  • Method

    Soften the butter out of the fridge for an hour or so. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and whizz until well combined. At this stage you have 2 choices according to how funky you wish to get. You can simply spoon into a bowl, cover and refrigerate. Once cooled, just spoon out onto your steak. It will still taste the same.

    Method two involves a little messing around. Have a square sheet of greaseproof paper spread out on a workbench. Next to it have ready an identically sized piece of aluminium foil. Spread the softened butter onto the greaseproof paper and roll up into a cigar shaped cylinder. Wrap the parcel in the foil and place in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. When ready to serve, simply slice into attractively shaped discs to top your steak.

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