Serves: 4–6

The sailors who used to guide barges up and down the Rhône, from Arles to Lyon, were lucky men indeed. They invented this dish and, we assume, ate it often. If we were having our last supper, this would be it, with mashed potatoes, a green salad and a good red Rhône wine.


  • 4 thick rump steaks, about 300g each
  • 4 onions, halved and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 12 French cornichons, chopped
  • 10 anchovy fillets packed in oil, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

For the marinade

  • 150 ml olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, crushed
  • A small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • A sprig of thyme
  • 1 inner celery stick, with leaves
  • A large casserole


1One day before serving, mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a shallow non-reactive dish. Add the steaks and turn to coat well with the mixture. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight, turning at least twice.

2Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) Gas 2.

3Put the onions, capers and cornichons in a bowl and toss well. Put the anchovies and flour in a small bowl and blend well. Remove the meat from the marinade and set aside. Stir the anchovies and vinegar into the marinade.

4Put one-third of the onion mixture in the casserole and put 2 steaks on top, side by side. Spoon in half of the marinade, spreading it over the meat. Top with half the remaining onion mixture, then the remaining steaks. Spoon over the rest of the marinade and top with the rest of the onion mixture.

5Pour in about 250 ml water. Cut a piece of baking parchment to about the diameter of the casserole and put this on top of the onions to help seal in all the juices. Cover with the lid and cook in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Serve immediately with mashed potatoes and a green salad.

Recipe taken from our sister magazine France Today.


  1. This is the best dish I’ve tasted and so glad I’ve found this recipe I first made thirty years ago from the first and French recipe book by husband bought me. We had it with dauphinois potatoes and thought we’d died snd gone to heaven. It doesn’t taste fishy despite the anchovy just rich and umami.


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