Côte de Bœuf (cote de boeuf) recipe, Courtesy of Chef Pierre Gagnaire, Paris, France. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Cote de Boeuf Recipe Courtesy of Chef Pierre Gagnaire in Paris

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This Cote de Boeuf recipe – or more correctly, côte de bœuf recipe – comes courtesy of superstar French chef Pierre Gagnaire. It became one of our most memorable souvenirs of our stay in Paris. But when we first shared the recipe for this quintessential French dish back in 2010, we could never have known it would become one of our most read stories and most popular recipes year after year.

This cote de boeuf recipe will make you a perfect côte de bœuf – and to think that it was almost a couscous recipe! Back in the spring of 2010 in Paris, about a quarter of the way through our 12 month global grand tour aimed at inspiring you all to live like locals and travel more slowly, sustainably and more experientially, we spent two weeks in a lofty Montmartre apartment with rooftop views and a petite kitchen.

As we’d done in every destination we settled into for two weeks at a time that year – the year we launched Grantourismo – we sought the opinions of locals in each place on what we should do and learn and eat and cook. In the case of Paris we asked the legendary French chef Pierre Gagnaire what the quintessentially Parisian dish was that I should learn to cook in Paris for our series The Dish.

We could never have expected that, firstly, the chef would say ‘couscous’, and secondly, when we urged Pierre to choose something more traditionally French (as we’d just come from Morocco), and he recommended côte de bœuf, that this cote de boeuf recipe would become one of our most-read posts year after year.

Cote de Boeuf Recipe Courtesy of Chef Pierre Gagnaire

“Think of a dish that you would tell someone they had to have if they came to Paris,” I prompted. After what seemed like an eternity, chef Gagnaire, who had his head bowed, elbow on knee and chin in hand, raised his head, eyes sparkling, and pronounced: “Couscous!”

“Couscous?!” Lara and I both exclaimed. While it wasn’t the suggestion we were hoping for, the chef had a point.

Old-school Paris may be struggling with issues of cultural and national identity. And some Parisians were indeed struggling with the city’s increasing cosmopolitanism, as Lara had learnt on a walk with an academic that explored Paris’ multiculturalism.

However, Parisians had firmly embraced the food of the Maghreb and couscous was a common dish found in many bistros, cafés, and take-away food joints across Paris.

Côte de Bœuf (cote de boeuf) recipe, Courtesy of Chef Pierre Gagnaire, Paris, France. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Having just travelled from Marrakech and Essaouira, where we ate couscous daily and I cooked lamb tajine for The Dish, we couldn’t possibly settle on couscous, regardless of how multicultural Paris had become.

Once I explained this, without hesitation Pierre declared “Côte de bœuf!

Perfect. I had secretly hoped he’d say this.

The previous year we had the privilege of being flies on the wall for a night in chef Pierre Gagnaire’s Dubai kitchen when he made one of his regular visits to his restaurant there called Reflets.

That night, as Pierre’s head chef Olivier Biles fired orders of côte de bœuf so colossal, so fragrant, and so delicious, I had trouble focussing on anything else going on.

Olivier would send out the cote de boeuf in a cast iron Dutch Oven to show the customers the beautiful piece of meat they would be getting before it hit the oven to complete the cooking.

The huge chunks of beef had been seared and were surrounded by fragrant sprigs of thyme burning like incense. The aromas that wafted from the pot were amazing, turning almost every head in the restaurant.

Côte de Bœuf (cote de boeuf) recipe, Courtesy of Chef Pierre Gagnaire, Paris, France. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

At the end of that night in the kitchen in Dubai, after I cooked the chefs’ dinner (for that story, you’ll have to click through to the link above), Pierre invited us to dine at his restaurant next time we were in France.

So, after a long and very enjoyable lunch at Pierre’s Paris restaurant, we strolled across to the chef’s office nearby so we could get his opinion on what to cook in Paris for our series, The Dish, on the quintessential dishes of places we were travelling to that year.

I was secretly hoping that he would share his cote de boeuf recipe and some tips on how to cook this great hunk of burning beef.

Tips to Making this Côte de Bœuf Recipe

“Five minutes a side on the grill, ten minutes in the oven, and ten minutes rest,” the chef told us, when I asked for the recipe. Simple as that.

I asked Pierre about the thyme that I had noticed being used in Dubai and he smiled. The chef knew how tantalising the perfume of those little twigs made the dish. He said that the thyme could go either in the pan or in the oven with the meat.

He also said he liked to use a little butter, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a touch of vinegar at the end.

The chef’s cooking tips for his cote de boeuf recipe were the first of many welcome pieces of advice I’d receive over the next days.

Every time I mentioned that I was making a côte de bœuf recipe, there would be words of wisdom offered, along with some very strong opinions on how to make this quintessentially French dish.

There was: “serve it with pommes frites!”, “cook it bleu (rare)!”, but the most common response was just “Ooohh, côte de bœuf! Oh la la!”

Côte de Bœuf (cote de boeuf) recipe, Courtesy of Chef Pierre Gagnaire, Paris, France. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Pierre said he preferred to eat his côte de bœuf with pomme noisettes (potatoes carved into a hazelnut-shape), cracked black pepper, sauce béarnaise, and a fresh green salad, or perhaps just with potato Dauphinoise (layered slices of potato baked in milk and/or cream and a little cheese).

What was most critical for our cote de boeuf recipe, the chef said, was that we used meat from a good butcher as Parisians liked to eat their cote de boeuf recipe rare, and the quality was important.

Pierre’s favourite butcher is Hugo Desnoyer – the go-to guy in Paris for quality cuts of meat. The cut used for côte de bœuf is actually a bone-in ribeye steak, but cut very thick through the ribs.

In the end, in keeping with the local travel theme of our trip, I settled for a local butcher in our Montmartre neighbourhood, some 200 metres from the apartment, who had been recommended to us.

The butcher first asked how many people the beef was for and then suggested a ‘double cut’, which is normal for a côte de bœuf for two. Generally, you can only order it for two. This was around 1.2kgs of meat and bone.

The butcher then asked whether it was for the barbecue or the pan.

Côte de Bœuf (cote de boeuf) recipe, Courtesy of Chef Pierre Gagnaire, Paris, France. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

As it was for the pan, he trimmed the bone off and expertly trimmed some of the excess fat that runs through the cut and tied the meat up with string, placing the fat back on the outside of the cut. Beautiful.

But before we left, the butcher issued a stern warning: “Deux minutes!” he said, while indicating with his hands in true French mime style that I should cook each side for two minutes before placing it in the oven.

Dix minutes,” he continued, miming the resting of the beef by placing his hands flat. He was insistent, and that’s what I love about the passion of someone who loves their ingredients.

Côte de Bœuf (cote de boeuf) recipe, Courtesy of Chef Pierre Gagnaire, Paris, France. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Before you get to the cote de boeuf recipe, a couple more tips to making a perfect côte de bœuf.

The bone-in ribeye steak is a delicious cut of meat but it is also an expensive cut, so if you’re unsure about oven temperatures or how to judge the doneness of the meat, use a meat thermometer. (I don’t travel anywhere without one.) You don’t want to get this wrong!

I should also point out that I made a couple of adjustments to the side dishes.

Instead of pomme noisettes or potato Dauphinoise on the side, as the chef recommended, I went with a rustic potato mash that I fortified with mustard and a drizzle of red wine sauce. (I’d had a similar side dish at Le Comptoir and loved it).

For a vegetable side I couldn’t resist using some of the fresh spring asparagus that was just hitting the markets. I made a sauce béarnaise for dipping both the beef and the asparagus into.

Update 2023: We have lots more recipes for delicious vegetable side dishes now.

Côte de Bœuf Recipe Courtesy of Chef Pierre Gagnaire

Côte de Bœuf (cote de boeuf) recipe, Courtesy of Chef Pierre Gagnaire, Paris, France. Copyright © 2022 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Côte de Bœuf (Cote de Boeuf) Recipe Courtesy of Chef Pierre Gagnaire

AuthorTerence Carter (via Pierre Gagnaire)
This mouthwatering Côte de Bœuf (Cote de Boeuf) recipe comes courtesy of French Chef Pierre Gagnaire who shared it with us over a decade ago in Paris, where we cooked it in our Montmartre kitchen, and the wonderful aromas permeated through the building. The cut used for côte de bœuf is a bone-in ribeye steak, cut very thick through the ribs. This cut is quite expensive and needs to be cooked no further than medium rare. Serve with your favourite potato dish and crispy seasonal vegetables.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine French
Servings made with recipe2
Calories 2272 kcal


  • 1 kg trimmed côte de bœuf (bone-in ribeye) at room temperature
  • 2 small bunches of thyme - tied with kitchen string
  • 100 g salted butter
  • Splash of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


  • Make sure that your meat is at room temperature.
  • Heat an oven-proof sauté pan on high on the stove, and set the temperature of the oven to 200˚C (395˚F).
  • Do not season the meat unless you want to steam it (and trust me, you don’t).
  • Add the butter and a dash of olive oil to the pan.
  • Pat dry the meat before placing it carefully in the hot pan. Add a bunch of thyme to the pan.
  • You want a good dark crusty exterior for the meat, so don’t move or turn it until you get it; this should take around 3 minutes per side, or 5 minutes if you have a crappy electric stovetop.
  • Once both sides are cooked, I like to set the other bunch of thyme on fire, get it really smoking, add it to the pan, and partially cover the pan. This should take a couple of minutes to get a decent aroma through the meat.
  • Place the meat in the oven; it should take around 10 minutes to get to rare to medium-rare.
  • Remove the meat from the oven and rest covered in a warm place.
  • Traditionally, côte de bœuf is sliced at the table, seasoned and served.
  • The next day if you haven’t finished the beef, you’re going to have the best beef and mustard sandwiches of your life!


It's best to get your butcher to trim and tie up your côte de bœuf. This is an expensive cut of meat and I strongly suggest buying a digital meat thermometer if you don't have one.


Serving: 1gCalories: 2272kcalCarbohydrates: 0.8gProtein: 90.5gFat: 207.5gSaturated Fat: 91.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 115.8gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 508mgSodium: 613mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 0g

Do let us know if you make this cote de Boeuf recipe courtesy of chef Pierre Gagnaire in the comments below. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, and we’d love to hear any tips you may have.


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Terence Carter is an editorial food and travel photographer and infrequent travel writer with a love of photographing people, places and plates of food. After living in the Middle East for a dozen years, he settled in South-East Asia a dozen years ago with his wife, travel and food writer and sometime magazine editor Lara Dunston.

43 thoughts on “Cote de Boeuf Recipe Courtesy of Chef Pierre Gagnaire in Paris”

  1. Plenty of wine to deglaze the pan, shallots, some thyme and then more wine!
    Reduce to a tiny amount and then mount with some butter just before serving to give it body and gloss.
    It’s really about just not wasting the pan juices, it’s not one that uses a beef stock…

  2. Oh. Oh my …!

    I recently had bistecka fiorentina in Florence (funnily enough), which I’m guessing is done pretty much the same way. A-MA-ZING. Coming (as I do) from a beef farming family, I’m a big appreciator of a quality piece of rare meat. Yum …

  3. Hi Katja, that’s interesting!
    Bistecca alla Fiorentina is the Porterhouse cut though, from near the rump, while côte de bœuf is bone-in ribeye – different flavours – and the Bistecca uses a specific beef, Chianina, while I couldn’t find a specific breed used for côte de bœuf.
    They can be cooked the same way but what they really have in common is they should be done rare and to share ;-)


  4. Ah, OK. That’s good to know. I didn’t know the details of the cut. Interesting that the Fiorentina even specifies the breed – that’s taking pickiness to a whole new level!

  5. This has become my “go to” cote de boeuf recipe — the “flaming thyme” fills the kitchen with yummy aromas. Simple but brilliant! Merci Terrance and Co. !


    Chevry, FRANCE5 stars

  6. Wow. Thanks so much! It’s one of our highest ranking stories of the year on GranTourismo.
    You can thank Pierre too – being in his kitchen and smelling those aromas had me dreaming of it until we went to Paris.
    These kind of comments really make our trip!

  7. Sounds delicious!

    I’m guessing that serves 2? How would you do it for 4, with a bigger cut for longer and brown the sides too? Or cook 2 separate joints?


  8. Greetings Mike,
    Yes, that serves two (I’ve now added that to the post – thanks). For four, cook two separate joints in separate pans because even if they both fit in one pan you’ll lose too much heat trying to cook two at once.

  9. Hey Terence, thanks for the response. Fortunately I’ve got two ovens, so I can probably cook one in each! Lid on or off when in the oven?

  10. Terence,
    Just made this tonight, my husband and I ooohed & aaahed about its fabulousness…thanks to you I’m not afraid of beef anymore, I’ve alway seemed to overlook, buy NO MORE – Yay! Served with asparagus as you had done, also perfectly done, along with new potatoes in butter and fresh parsley. I think the cooking Gods were with me tonight!! Topped off with strawberry and rhubarb tartlets (and a dollop of ice cream) Truly a memorable dinner, thank you for your website and great advice!! LA

  11. Your recipe sounds absolutely delicious. Does it work with a heavier cut, such as one that weighs 1.75 kilos? If so, how much longer should it roast in the oven?5 stars

  12. Thanks, you should use a meat thermometer if you’re not comfortable with checking by testing doneness by hand. If you want to do if for four people just get two pieces the same size and pan roast separately.

  13. It’s not clear to me when exactly to add the salt and pepper. Or should salt and pepper just be on the table? I’m so used to marinating beef with salt first…

  14. Greetings Lis,
    The beef is not seasoned first. I like to sprinkle the salt and pepper over the slices when serving and leave extra on the table.
    Hope that helps!

  15. Hi there, I followed your recipe closely and have a few questions: After transferring the meat to the oven at 200C it took a long time (maybe an hour or more) to reach a core temperature of 62C (we don’t like it too rare). It was smoking quite a bit and we had building security on our door to check if there was a fire in our apartment! I used a creuset.. any thoughts? My cote de boeuf was also around 1kg but might have been a bit thicker. Thanks!5 stars

  16. Greetings Rahel,
    Thanks for trying our recipe! A couple of things to look out for. Make sure you’ve really seared the beef off just like in the photo before transferring as the interior should have started to cook. Another thing, was the beef really at room temperature? Pierre’s chefs would take the beef out of the fridge when the table’s order came in and it wasn’t hitting the pan for perhaps an hour and a half after that in a hot kitchen. Every professional kitchen I’ve been in do the same as they don’t want to steam the protein as it hits the pan because it’s still cold. Incidentally, they’re not worried about bacteria as it would only have time to form on the exterior of the meat and it’s getting really seared so bacteria is not a problem. Another thing to look out for is that yes, it might be the thickness of the cote de boeuf that increased the cooking time. However my guess is that the cote de boeuf wasn’t really at room temp combined with it being a thicker cut that made it take so long…
    Hope the end result was worth it though!

  17. If I’m using a meat thermometer to measure proper done-ness, what temperature (F.) indicates med / med-rare?

  18. Greetings Anne,
    If you want medium-rare, remove from oven at 120°F and it will go up a couple of degrees while resting. For medium, remove from the oven at 130°F. However, it is a cut that the French enjoy rare to medium-rare and won’t cook it to more than 120°F which is what the photos reflect.


  19. What a great chunk of meat that is! I noticed you have a red wine sauce instead of a béarnaise. Do you have a recipe?5 stars

  20. Just saw this in your end of year round up of recipes and remembered that I didn’t give it a rating when I made it – that smoky thyme is genius. Pierre is a great chef. Thanks again!5 stars

  21. Thank you for documenting and sharing this rare recipe from a famous chef. In the sentence “eat his with pomme noisettes (potatoes carved into a hazelnut-shape) pepper”, does pepper mean ground black pepper, or something else?5 stars

  22. Thank you for sharing. I had always pre-salted and placed in fridge a day before cooking. This one tip to not pre-salt made a big difference.5 stars

  23. Hi there! Sweden calling!
    Thank you for a great recipe on my favorite cut of meat. Just wondering about the thyme. Would a twig of rosemary also do the trick? I usually let it simmer in the butter with the meat but setting it on fire?

  24. Hey Patrick, the chef’s trick would work with rosemary as well. The basting of the meat is done with some thyme – not the burnt stuff – in the pan.
    The smoking gives a little extra smokey flavour, but the chef used it as a little bit of showmanship as well. A good way to sell more servings of an expensive hunk of meat!
    Happy cooking!

  25. I have used your recipe before and it is absolutely delicious and the timing is perfect. I cooked pomme fondant and crispy kale as accompaniment with Madeira flavoured jus and it worked really well. Thank you.👏😃

  26. Hi Sandie, so pleased to hear that. Pomme fondant is a fantastic accompaniment. Brings back memories of dining out in Paris… sigh… those were the days! Thank you so much for taking time to drop by and leave a comment. Appreciated :)

  27. Amazing recipe. Can you expand on the vinegar and lemon at the you mentioned? How and when was that applied?5 stars

  28. Greetings Rob, “the squeeze of lemon juice and a touch of vinegar at the end” is what chef Pierre puts on his Cote de Boeuf at the table. It’s not unusual in France, it just brings the flavour out more. I didn’t include it in the recipe, as I don’t think that most people will do it and I didn’t want people dousing a very expensive steak with cheap vinegar – he was probably using an aged balsamic vinegar as they do in Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy.
    Thanks for your question and comment.

  29. Great post! Whenever I cook steak, I always struggle with getting the right temperature, and I don’t like it when it’s too rare. As a result, I often end up overcooking my steak.5 stars

  30. That was fantastic! I was a bit concerned during the “crusting” process as I was essentially burning the absolute he!! out of the butter in the pan. I stayed the course though, didn’t touch anything until the first 5 minute flip. 5 minutes later into the oven for another 10 and perfection! Thank you so much for this recipe as I have gone years now steak less here in France unable to get one from the French that wasn’t bleeding. Now I can tackle their cote de boeuf cut on my own (with you of course)!5 stars

  31. Hi Michelle, so pleased to hear this! We do love our cote de boeuf to be pink, but I hear you: there’s nothing better than being able to cook something exactly to your liking. If you’re looking for a great potato side, this Hasselkback potatoes recipe is also foolproof and delicious: https://grantourismotravels.com/hasselback-potatoes-recipe/ Thank you so much taking the time to drop by to leave a comment – we love to hear from readers who’ve tried our recipes :)

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