Yotam Ottolenghi's Celeriac Steaks with Café de Paris Sauce
A long time ago, in Paris, Ixta had a steak with Café de Paris sauce and thought she’d died and gone to butter heaven. This single memory, etched in her mind since childhood, formed the basis on which we relied when creating this dish, plus a bunch of conflicting versions published over the years that had a stab at cracking the secret recipe. Whether our version gets us anywhere near the original we will probably never know, but it certainly delivers in turning celeriac seriously meaty, only without the meat, and making it the perfect alternative to a Sunday roast (serve it along with the iceberg wedges with smoky aubergine cream, p. 38 of Ottolenghi FLAVOUR, and the oven chips, p. 89).
Don’t worry about the sauce splitting; it’s supposed to.
|For the whole roasted celeriac:|
|2||large celeriac, hairy roots discarded (no need to peel) and scrubbed clean (900g)|
|flaked sea salt and black pepper|
|For the Café de Paris sauce:|
|110g||unsalted butter, cut into 2cm cubes|
|1||small banana shallot, finely chopped (25g)|
|1||garlic clove, crushed|
|3||anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained and finely chopped (optional, but adjust seasoning if not using)|
|½ tsp||medium curry powder|
|¼ tsp||cayenne pepper|
|1 tbsp||mustard powder|
|1 tbsp||baby capers|
|2 tbsp||chives, finely chopped|
|2 tbsp||tarragon leaves, finely chopped|
|1 tbsp||parsley, finely chopped|
|2 tsp||thyme leaves|
|110ml||single or whipping cream|
|2 tsp||lemon juice|
For the whole roasted celeriac:
1. Preheat the oven to 170°C fan.
2. Pierce the celeriac with a fork all over about 40 times and place on a parchment-lined baking tray. Mix the oil and 3 teaspoons of flaked salt, then rub the celeriac generously with the oil mixture. Roast for a minimum of 2¼ hours, or up to 2¾ hours, depending on the size of your celeriac, basting every 20 minutes or so, until the celeriac is deeply browned, soft all the way through and oozes a celeriac caramel.
3. Leave to rest for 15 minutes, then cut widthways into 2½cm-thick steaks, brushing each cut side with the oil and caramel left on the tray (you may need to add a little more oil if there isn’t enough to coat the cut sides).
For the Café de Paris Sauce
1. Put the first seven ingredients for the sauce and ¼ teaspoon of flaked salt into a small saucepan on a medium heat. Cook for about 6 minutes, swirling the pan until the shallots have softened and the butter has melted and become golden and caramelised. Add the capers, herbs and a very generous grind of pepper and continue to cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.
2. Turn the oven to its highest grill setting. Arrange the celeriac steaks, spaced apart, on a large, parchment-lined baking tray big enough to fit the slices in a single layer. The steaks should have been brushed with their cooking oil and celeriac caramel by this point, but if not, brush with some olive oil and a little maple syrup or honey (see p. 54). Make sure there is no overhanging parchment that could burn. Grill the steaks on the top shelf of the oven, until they are golden-brown on top, 6–8 minutes. Turn the oven off, keeping the tray warm in the oven until you’re ready to serve.
3. Return the sauce to a medium heat and gently cook for a minute, then add the cream and lemon juice. Swirl for another 2 minutes or until warm, but don’t mix it too much – you want the sauce to be split, not emulsified.
4. Pour the sauce on to a large platter with a lip and arrange the celeriac steaks on top (or plate individually with some sauce poured on top and the rest served alongside). Sprinkle the steaks with a little flaked salt and black pepper, and serve.