Saturday, June 16, 2012

Entrecôte (Entrecote). Ordering a Perfect Entrecote Steak in France.

Entrecôte –  Entrecote.
Behind the French Menu
Bryan Newman
Last updated 2016
An entrecote, cooked á Point.
An entrecote cooked à point will be rare to medium-rare;
Photograph courtesy of jypygen
An entrecote is a rib-eye steak in North America, while in the UK an entrecote may be called a rib-eye or fore-rib steak; then depending from what part of the rib it is cut in a UK restaurants that same French entrecote may be on the UK menu as a sirloin steak.  N. B. A US sirloin is a different cut to a UK sirloin; it comes from a cut further down the back, the UK sirloin is better. To order your steak cooked, in France, the way you like it back home see the post:  Ordering a steak in France, cooked the way you like it.
In France, an entrecote is usually served without the bone.
The French word entrecôte translates as between the ribs, and that is certainly where this cut comes from; an entrecote or rib-eye steak is one of the tastiest steaks that any restaurant can offer. In many US restaurants, a rib-eye steak may be on the menu bone-in, that is with the bone; however, French entrecote steaks are usually prepared without the bone. The French cut these steaks leaving a line of fat on the edge, and that keeps the meat moist while cooking; most excess fat will be removed before serving.                   

An entrecôte ready for the grill.
                                        Photograph courtesy of Jonathan Koertge.

An entrecote on a French menu:

Entrecôte Bordelaise -  An entrecote in the manner of Bordeaux. This is the most famous of France's many Entrecote recipes and made with Sauce Bordelaise.

The Sauce Bordelaise, which may be part of many other dishes is made with veal stock, Bordeaux red wine, butter, shallots, thyme and bone marrow.
 Entrecôte Bordelaise à la Moelle -  An entrecôte steak cooked in the manner of Bordeaux, with added bone marrow. A Sauce Bordelaise will usually have included a small amount of bone marrow; however, when the dish is à la Moelle then more bone marrow will have been added to the sauce which will give it a velvety texture. Additional pieces of bone marrow will be added to the steak just as it is about to be served.

Entrecôte Bordelaise à la Moelle
In the photograph above the beige circles on the steak are pieces of bone marrow.
Photograph by Monkey Business/

A note about  the wine to accompany an Entrecote Bordelaise
 Sauce Bordelaise will have been made with a dry Bordeaux wine. When ordering wine to accompany your Entrecote Bordelaise choose a wine that complements rather than overpowers the sauce. In a good restaurant, this is where the sommelier, the wine steward, demonstrates his or her skills and knowledge by pointing out the wine used in the sauce.  Then with your preferences, that should include your budget, he or she can suggest a wine that will pair with the dish and not overpower the sauce.
Entrecôte Façon du Chef - An entrecote prepared in the manner of the chef’s choosing. Since 90% of entrecote steak are grilled here the chef’s choice will indicate particular herbs and a particular sauce. Ask.

Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2001 Pauillac, Bordeaux.
This may be the sommelier's choice for pairing with an Entrecote Bordelaise if you have 
not told him or her your budget!
Photograph courtesy of  cumi&ciki
 Entrecôte – Legumes  - An entrecote accompanied by vegetables. Many French restaurants, usually the smaller ones and those without pretensions, have menus that use abbreviations and restaurant shorthand like this. The indication that the vegetables are included lets you know that you must order the French fries separately.
 Entrecôte Marchand de Vin An entrecote steak as it would be prepared for a wine merchant. A Sauce Marchands de Vin will be a slightly stronger red wine sauce than the Sauce Bordelaise. The sauce will usually be made with a beef stock, not veal stock, without added bone marrow and the red wine may not necessarily be a Bordeaux.
 Entrecôte Maître d'Hôtel An entrecote steak as preferred by a restaurant manager; this is the classic French way to serve an entrecote steak. The steak is grilled to the degree requested and then a  cold (compound) butter flavored with of parsley and lemon flavored butter,  is placed on top of the steak just as it is served. Very few other herbs will have been added during cooking, often just a little salt and pepper.  The Maître d'Hôtel butter will melt and flavor the steak as the diner eats.

 Entrecôte Maître d'Hôtel
Photograph courtesy of 46317.jpg

Entrecôte Minute – A minute steak; a small entrecote steak. This will be a thinner steak and it will probably be fried rather than grilled.
Noix d'Entrecôte  or Cœur d'Entrecôte – A center cut from the entrecote; the best, and tastiest cut from an entrecote.

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Bryan G. Newman

Behind the French Menu
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