Steak maître d’hôtel


Pan-seared steak with parsley butter

The steak the French most often use with beurre maître d’hôtel is perhaps the entrecôte, which is as it sounds — cut from between the ribs. But as cuts of meat differ from country to country, this recipe does not specify which kind of steak to use. It can work equally well with any good cut of steak — sirloin, porterhouse, rib eye, New York strip, or in France tournedos, faux-filet, etc. What matters is the thickness of the meat, for this will determine the cooking time. And by the way, steak of any sort served with beurre maître d’hôtel may be grilled rather than pan-seared, as you prefer.

The instructions below are for relatively thin steaks, as served most often in France. For thicker cuts, increase the cooking time accordingly.

2 steaks, about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick
1 tsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. softened butter
1 tbsp. fresh parsley, finely minced
a few drops of fresh lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the butter on a plate and mash with a fork. Add the minced parsley, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Form the parsley butter into a slab and refrigerate.

Heat the olive oil to sizzling in a frying pan. Cook the steaks over a very high flame. The amount of time depends on the thickness of the meat. With steaks 1/2 inch thick, count on about 1 minute per side for very rare meat, 2 minutes per side for medium rare, and 3 minutes per side for medium to well done.

Salt and pepper the steaks only after removing them from the heat. Place a pat of parsley butter on each steak. Serves 2.

Another way to shape the butter, if making a lot of it, is to place it on a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper, form it into a long cylindrical shape, roll it up in the paper and roll it over you countertop a few times to make a smooth cylinder. Now refrigerate. When ready to serve, you may slice it off in rounds — which look quite pretty on the plate. For the purposes of an everyday French chef, however, forming the butter into a slab works just as well.

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