November 22nd, 2008

Tiger Likes His Steak

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I receive Tiger Woods’ periodic newsletter by e-mail. I know it’s weird. Especially since I don’t play golf.

But he’s a cool dude and I admire his athletic ability, his dedication and perfectionism and how he has used his celebrity.

He’s just a good guy. And he does some really great things for causes he believes in.

I’m not trying to get all sappy on you. Just check out this little excerpt from his latest newsletter and tell me — as a steak lover — you don’t love him, too.

We held our fourth annual Block Party and raised about $700,000 for our Learning Center. I want to thank Fred Couples and Chris Riley for helping me with the morning clinic at Pelican Hill. Freddie also helped out with our live auction and is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet.

I also want to thank world-renowned chef Mario Batali for preparing a three-course gourmet meal – yes, I ate two steaks – and special thanks to Seal for putting on a great concert. Just seeing him perform again was absolutely incredible. He’s a nice guy, too. 

Yeah, famous people were there, blah, blah. And Tiger Woods eats two steaks in one sitting. In public.

And then writes about it.

Ya gotta admire a man who can put away the beef. Maybe that’s his secret to success? Couldn’t hurt.

Tiger, you had me at “hello.” YOU HAD ME AT HELLO.

Photo courtesy of TigerWoods.com.


November 21st, 2008

Beginner’s Roast

By

Are lots of people descending on your house next week? Need a meal you can prepare ahead of time this holiday?

Try this yummy roast we just prepared at my parents’ house. It’s tender and hearty and who doesn’t love a good roast?

This one is a great Southern Living recipe. They always get it right.

The secret to this roast’s tenderness is the double layer of aluminum foil. So don’t skip that part!

Enjoy!

Beginner’s Roast

Prep: 5 min.; Bake: 3 hrs., 30 min. The secret to this juicy, fall-apart tender roast is in the baking. Before placing the lid on top of the Dutch oven, cover it with a double layer of aluminum foil. An eye-of-round roast has far less fat than a chuck roast, but when tightly covered and slowly baked with moist heat, is every bit as delicious. This easy recipe is also a terrific make-ahead dish. After baking, cool roast completely, and remove from Dutch oven, reserving gravy. Cut roast into 1/4-inch-thick slices, and arrange in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Pour gravy over sliced roast; cover and refrigerate up to 3 days. Reheat in a 325° oven for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Yield
Makes 6 to 8 servings

Ingredients
1 (3- to 4-pound) eye-of-round roast
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup water
1 (1.12-ounce) package brown gravy mix
1 garlic clove, minced

Preparation
Place roast in a lightly greased Dutch oven, and top with sliced onion. Stir together soup and next 3 ingredients; pour over roast.

Bake, tightly covered, at 325° for 3 hours and 30 minutes or until tender.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Knorr Classic Brown Gravy Mix.

–Karrie Fayard, Mobile, Alabama, Southern Living, JANUARY 2006

Recipe courtesy of Southern Living.


November 19th, 2008

Beef Wellington . . . on a Tuesday Night!

By

The scene:  it’s just a run-of-the-mill Tuesday night here.

The kids are coloring, throwing the football in the house and fighting. They’ve already eaten since they’re on the 5:30 pm chicken-nuggets-every-night track.

But my husband will be home soon and the adults crave more than dino-shaped poultry can provide.

What to do?

I decided it was time to pull from the freezer the Beef Wellington I had ordered for just such an occasion. It’s heat & serve, but it smelled and tasted like I made it from scratch.

First, I opened up the box of Beef Wellington. They’re individually vacuum-sealed bundles of heaven . . .

 

Then, I unwrapped them and followed the instructions in the Gourmet Guide that came with the package. I sprayed a stainless steel rack with cooking spray and arranged the pastries on the rack on top of a cooking sheet. That’s so they won’t bake up soggy on the bottom. It’s a very important step.

Don’t they look like the perfect bakery-fresh pastries?

Then, I put them in a 400-degree oven for about 40 minutes according to the instructions. At about minute 6 I started smelling something really wonderful — probably the duxelle.

This is what they looked like after baking to my liking . . .

Oh, yeah. Crispy pastry goodness filled with filet mignon and a mushroom duxelle that is exquisite!

Can you see the amazing mushroom and herb mixture that surrounds the filet? Oh, mixed with the flaky goodness of the pastry and the juiciness of the beef, it is unbelievable.

Now, you can keep yours in the oven for a bit longer if you like a little less pink — or keep it in for less time if you like more pink. You decide.

But I know that this was just right for a wintry weekday evening where a can of soup was looking like it was going to make an appearance.

And this was just as easy! Serve with your favorite vegetable or a wild rice. Yum!

Hooray for heat & serve! Here’s where I ordered mine. Now I’m all out. I need to stock up again ’cause it looks like it’s going to be a long winter.

And this will definitely take the chill off.


November 16th, 2008

Steak Gorgonzola Fettuccine

By

This is a beautiful recipe with a mixture of amazing flavors. Tender beef with red peppers, pasta, garlic, arugula and lots more to tempt your taste buds.

This recipe comes to us via TheFoodInMyBeard.com. The name alone cracks me up.

Check it out!

Steak Gorgonzola Fettuccine

Roasted Red Peppers.
Put 2 red peppers under the broiler. Rotate every 2 minutes so they get blackened on all sides. Wrap in paper bag or paper towels, and wrap that in plastic wrap. 20 minutes later, unwrap peppers and remove skin. It should slide right off. Also remove seeds and slice peppers into thin strips. Lightly salt and place in bowl for later.

Pasta.
Light a grill. Fill pasta pot with water and bring to boil. In small saucepan, cook 2 cloves of diced garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes in olive oil. 3 minutes. Add cup of half and half. Cook 5 minutes stirring. Drop pasta. Add gorgonzola or any blue cheese to half and half mixture. Cook (seasoned) steak on the grill (indoors or out) to desired doneness. Coat pasta in sauce and move to a large bowl. Add arugula and roasted red peppers and stir. Serve steak sliced on top.

Photo and recipe courtesy of TheFoodInMyBeard.com.


November 14th, 2008

Hosting a Party? Stay Sane

By

Try NOT to look like Pam from "The Office"

Try NOT to look like Pam from “The Office” at your own dinner party.

It’s holiday time! And that means parties — and, more importantly, hosting dinner parties.

Our resident expert in all things cooking, preparing and serving (a.k.a. my sister-in-law Sandy) shares with us her recipe for having a dinner party and keeping all your marbles.

She says . . .

Here’s how I’d do the Chateaubriand meal if I was having a dinner party, or just don’t want to spend a lot of last minute time in the kitchen:

 

1)      Make a menu and grocery list and do my shopping 2 days ahead.

2)      One day ahead, I peel potatoes, shallots and other vegetables as required by my menu.  Potatoes must be kept covered in water in the refrigerator to prevent oxidation, which is discoloration.  Feel free to enroll your husband or kids to peel and prep veggies.  Vegetables that don’t oxidize, like broccoli or green beans, carrots, etc. can be cleaned, dried on paper towels and stored in zip-top bags in the refrigerator.

3)      Make dessert as far ahead as possible (usually a day or two is fine).

4)      The morning of the party, begin with the dauphinoise potatoes. Prep and bake as directed until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife.  Cool on the countertop, then cover with plastic and refrigerate until cold (several hours).  When the potatoes are very cold and totally set, run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn them out onto a cutting board, then flip onto another cutting board.  Cut into serving shapes (I like diamonds.)  We’ll be cutting them into neat serving size portions which will then be heated and crisped up with the meat before serving.  Put the portions onto a well buttered sheet pan, cover and refrigerate.

5)      Brown the meat and shallots early to get a head start on  the red wine sauce.  While the potatoes cook, season and sear the meat until nicely browned.  Remove from pan and add the peeled, roughly chopped (in ¾ to 1 in pieces) and slightly brown them – they will not be tender yet.  Both the meat and the shallots will finish in the oven before the party.  Place shallots as base in the roasting pan, place seared roast on top, Let meat cool slightly, cover with plastic and refrigerate until about 90 minutes before party time.  Deglaze the pan with the red wine and reduce the wine until syrupy.  Let cool slightly, cover and refrigerate.  Later, the meat juices from the roast and the butter will be added to finish the sauce.

6)      Shower, get your manicure done and do last minute party cleanup.

Now that last part is if you are a woman (or simply a man who cares about well-groomed nails).

Click here to see the recipe again for Dauphinoise Potatoes. And click here to go over the step-by-step instructions for preparing Chateaubriand. Remember, Sandy gave us a slight variation here in searing the meat and letting it rest. That’s to help in timing the preparation right for your guests.

Have fun . . . and happy hosting!

Photo courtesy of www.tvmedia.ign.com.


November 11th, 2008

Dauphinoise Potatoes

By

Sandy mentioned previously a delicious side that would complement a Chateaubriand or, really, any beef entree.

I love an alternative to my usual potato sides. This recipe for Dauphinoise Potatoes is not only tasty, but truly gorgeous. Here is what it looks like when Sandy prepares it . . .

Yeah. Spectacular.

You can brush up on your gratin family of potatoes history here. In the meantime, here are Sandy’s step-by-step instructions so we can be JUST LIKE HER . . .

Recipe for Dauphinoise Potatoes:

1 pint heavy cream or half and half
garlic, herbs or flavoring as desired
kosher salt and pepper
6 medium baking potatoes, peeled
2 Tablespoons Butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bring cream or half and half to a simmer in a medium saucepan, adding whole peeled and smashed garlic cloves (2 for subtle garlic flavor), herbs such as thyme or rosemary sprigs to flavor the liquid.  When the cream develops small bubbles on the rim of the saucepan remove from heat and set aside until potatoes are prepared. Add 1 teaspoon kosher salt and several grinds fresh pepper.  Taste the mixture for seasoning.  It should be slightly saltier than you would eat straight (potatoes absorb lots of salt). 

With 1 tablespoon of softened butter, grease the potato baking pan(s) generously.  Wash, peel and thinly slice potatoes, preferably using a mandolin-type slicer with a sharp blade.  1/8 in slices are ideal and easy to do with a slicer.  Slice potatoes directly into baking dish.  I used a loaf pan but any pan which will allow the potaoes to cook in a deep layer (ie lots of head room) will work.  Individual tart pans can be used to bake and serve directly.  Toss the raw potatoes with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt and some pepper.  Strain the liquid or just remove herbs and garlic.  Add to baking dish, you will probably not need all of the liquid, depending on the size of potatoes, the baking dish and how much reduction of liquid took place.  Potatoes should be nearly covered, but not swimming in cream.

Use plastic wrap to push the potatoes down into the liquid.  Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the potatoes.  Cover pan and plastic wrap with foil and weight the potaoes down with a slighly smaller pan filled with hot water.  Place the baking dish in the oven for 40 minutes.  Carefully remove the water filled pan, the foil and the plastic wrap and continue to bake until the potaoes are tender and the liquid is nearly absorbed.  Some thickened liquid will remain.

If you are serving immediately, place the pan under the broiler and cook until potatoes are golden.

If you are preparing this dish ahead, cover and let cool in refrigerator.  When totally cool, potatoes may be turned out of baking dish onto cutting board and cut with a sharp heavy knife into serving sizes.  Place on well buttered baking pan.  To reheat, place in 450 degree oven until browned and hot throughout.  Serve immediately.


November 7th, 2008

Old Standbys Never Get Old

By

It’s getting nippy out there. (It is November, incidentally.) And it’s time to start making those favorite meals that warm us up inside and out.

Try this great recipe for Beef Pot Pie. Your whole family is sure to love it!

Beef Pot Pie

(Serves 4)

 

1 lb package beef tips

1 Cup Red Wine

1 Onion, medium dice

½ Cup frozen corn

½ Cup frozen peas

1 Cup sliced mushrooms

1 Potato, diced and boiled

1 Carrot, medium dice

2 Celery stalks, medium dice

2 Tbsp. Butter

2 Tbsp. Flour

2 Cups Beef Stock

Salt and Pepper

1 12 inch circle of puff pastry

 

In a heavy bottom saucepan, sweat onions, carrot and celery in butter.  Add mushrooms and cook until done.  Add flour and cook until the flour taste is gone, about 5 minutes.  Add beef stock, a little at a time, stirring constantly.  Cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Add corn, potatoes and peas, season to taste and place in a pie pan. Cover with puff pastry and bake at 350 degrees for 2 minutes.  Remove from oven and let sit 15 minutes before slicing.

Photo courtesy of a-good-eye.blogspot.com.


November 5th, 2008

Obama + Steak = Winner!

By

Well, we have a new president-elect here in the United States. And guess what he did last night as he awaited the results from the polls???

HE ATE STEAK!

Whatever your politics are, even if you didn’t vote for him, if you didn’t already love him . . . ya gotta get on board now that you know this.

Here’s what the Associated Press had to say . . .

Obama awaits vote with basketball, steak dinner

CHICAGO (AP) — Barack Obama unwound by playing basketball and eating a steak dinner with extended family Tuesday as he awaited Election Day results that he hoped would send him to the White House with support from red and blue America.

The Democratic presidential nominee watched early returns in a downtown Chicago hotel room with staff, then went home for dinner with his wife, daughters and in-laws. He returned to the hotel after the 90-minute respite at home, with a suite designated for adults and another for children to gather while awaiting the race’s outcome.

I predict a very tasty future for this nation.

Can we all enjoy a little steak now?

YES WE CAN!

Quote and photo courtesty of the Associated Press.


November 3rd, 2008

Where Do You Fall?

By

Happy Monday! I hope your Halloween was full of more treats than tricks.

I have found a cool little graph here that plots the choices of all who give their opinion on what the “perfect steak” might be. 

The graph goes from “bloody” to “chewy” and “like butter” to “burnt” and all points in between. You move the cursor to where your perfect steak would fall and then you get to see where all 4,000 others who have visited this site made their mark.

Pretty interesting.

Mine was in between “chewy” and “burnt.”  Mmmm, appetizing descriptions. But lots of fun!

Check it out here!


October 31st, 2008

Have a Steaky Halloween!

By

If I had really been thinking, I totally would have been this for Halloween . . .

But alas, I’ll have to settle for next year. Maybe then my husband can walk next to me and dress up as a bottle of Teriyaki sauce. Yum!

Have a great Halloween!

Photo courtesy of amazon.com.


October 30th, 2008

Spooky Sloppy Joes

By

One more day until Halloween! Are your li’l punkins ready?

Here’s another great meal idea for this fun holiday from the Texas Beef Council. Be sure to read the Suggestions section for cute sandwich topper ideas like a black olive spider, cheese curl devil horns and green onion broomsticks.

What fun!

SPOOKY SLOPPY JOES

Ingredients

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped orange bell pepper
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce with basil, garlic and oregano
1/2 cup chili sauce
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
4 Kaiser rolls, split

Instructions

Brown ground beef with onion and bell pepper in large nonstick skillet over medium heat 8-10 minutes, or until beef is no longer pink, breaking up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings. Stir in tomato sauce, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cook an additional 3 minutes or until heated through; stirring occasionally.

Spoon equal amounts of beef mixture on bottom half of each roll. Decorate beef mixture or roll tops with vegetable decorations, as desired (see below). Close with top half of each roll.

Suggestions

To make one spider: Cut pitted black olive in half lengthwise and place each half slightly overlapping in center of ground beef mixture or on center of roll top. Slice orange bell pepper into eight 1/4-inch thick strips. Place strips in spoke fashion around olive to make legs. Cut two small pepper pieces to make antennas. Place above olive slices.

To make jack-o-lantern face: Cut out pumpkin shape from Cheddar cheese slice with cookie cutter. Using small thin-bladed knife, cut out mouth, nose and eyes from pumpkin shape. Place cheese cutouts on top of ground meat mixture or on roll top.

To make cheese curl devil horns: Insert two cheese curl snacks vertically into roll top.

To make green onion broomsticks: Cut off the root end of green onion with small thin-bladed knife. Carefully cut thin slits 1/2-inch deep lengthwise into the white part of the onion. Soak sliced part of onion in cold water so ends curl up. Place on plate with Spooky Sloppy Joe.


October 29th, 2008

Are You Ready for Halloween?

By

 

Steak Bites With Bloody Mary Dipping Sauce

So . . . THIS FRIDAY is Halloween. Are you as ready as I am?

That’s a joke. I’m never ready.

But, at least my kids’ costumes are ready to go and I have purchased the obligatory candy to hand out.

What else do I need?

Well, some Halloween spirit for starters. So here’s something fun to try. It’s alternately creepy and tasty at the same time. Invite some friends over for this treat full of protein before you head out to scour the neighborhood for candy.

Enjoy!

STEAK BITES WITH BLOODY MARY DIPPING SAUCE

Ingredients

• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 1/2 cup vodka
• 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
• 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
• 1 cup tomato sauce
• 1 rounded tablespoon prepared horseradish
• Salt and pepper
• 1 1/3 pounds beef sirloin cut into large bite-sized pieces, 1 by 2 inches
• Steak seasoning blend or coarse salt and black pepper
• 6 to 8 inch bamboo skewers

Directions

Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add oil and onions and saute 5 minutes. Add vodka and reduce by 1/2. Add Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato sauce and horseradish. Stir to combine the dipping sauce and return the sauce to a bubble. Add salt and pepper and adjust seasonings.

Heat nonstick skillet over high heat. Coat meat bites lightly in oil. Season with steak seasoning blend or salt and pepper, to taste. Cook the meat until caramelized all over, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer dipping sauce to a small dish and place at the center of a serving platter. Surround the dip with meat bites and set several bamboo “stakes” or skewers along side meat.

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray and foodnetwork.com.

Photo courtesy of foodnetwork.com.


October 24th, 2008

Béarnaise, Anyone?

By

One of Sandy’s suggestions for a lovely accompaniment to the elegant Chateaubriand is a savory béarnaise sauce.

It’s a traditional sauce for any kind of steak or beef, but it’s especially appreciated on a beautiful cut of beef like Chateaubriand.

Here’s what she said . . .

A quick béarnaise recipe adapted from Craig Claiborne’s The New York Times Cook Book: (the tarragon reduction is exactly what I remember from making this sauce in much larger quantities in cooking school).

2 tablespoons white wine

1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar

2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon

2 teaspoons chopped shallot or onion

1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a small saucepan, bring the ingredients above to a boil and cook until almost all of the liquid disappears.  This will only take a few minutes, and will be very strong smelling (i.e. don’t put your nose directly over it).  This is the typical flavoring agent of béarnaise and can be added to 1 cup of your favorite hollandaise, or use the following to create that:

Place 3 egg yolks, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a blender container.  Combine by pulsing the motor on and off until combined and frothy.  Never let acid (lemon juice) or salt sit on raw egg yolks without mixing them in – it will “cook” the egg yolks and give you unwanted lumps in your sauce. 

Add one stick unsalted real butter to the herb mixture sauce pan and heat to bubbling, not browning.  Remove from heat.

Turn the blender back on and blend the egg yolk mixture until frothy and lighter colored, then with the blender running carefully add the hot herb/butter mixture to the yolks and blend on high speed for 4 seconds. 

Remove to clean thermos container unless you are ready to serve immediately.

This sauce cannot be reheated, or it will break (separate).

Very traditionally, this sauce would be served alongside the Chateaubriand in the (cooked and warmed) heart of an artichoke for each person. 

I love how Sandy always walks me through the landmines I might encounter — like putting my nose directly over the bubbling sauce. I would have totally done that.

And the storing of the sauce in a thermos until the meal is ready to be served is pure genius. I would not/could not have come up with that sauce-saving technique.

Try this graceful sauce served in lovely artichoke hearts with your next beef-featured meal and let me know how it turns out for you!

Photo courtesy of uktv.co.uk


October 22nd, 2008

Chateaubriand with Duxelles

By

Today I bring you another installment from my Jedi master of cooking, Sandy. Check out this post to get the whole story on our journey through Chateaubriand-land.

In this episode, Sandy sends me advice on how to prepare my Chateaubriand stuffed with duxelles.

She didn’t send it by way of Jedi mind tricks — just good ‘ol e-mail.

-Chateaubriand may be split and stuffed with duxelles (a mushroom and herb mixture) before cooking.  Finely dice about 1/2 pound of mushrooms, either white or shiitakes or a combination of your favorites.  Use a food processor if you want, little pieces are good, just not paste.  Finely mince 1 shallot, saute in 1 tablespoon butter in medium skillet until translucent.  Add mushroom mixture, 1/2  teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook over medium high until the mushrooms give off their liquid and the liquid cooks off and they look dry again.  Remove from heat.  Add 1-2 chopped herbs, such as Italian parsley if desired.  Let cool to room temp.   Meanwhile, use a sharp knife to cut a 1 inch slit down the length of the meat.  Add the cooled mushroom mixture and roll back into roast shape, tying as necessary. 

-Then roast at a high temperature (450) to medium doneness (or less).  I would only use olive oil, salt and pepper to season.  You may tie rosemary in the trussing string which would give it a little herbal taste.   Rare is 125-130.  Medium is 140.  Use an instant read thermometer or better yet, an electronic (ie the Polder) with the probe stuck in the middle the whole time.  After about the first ten minutes, baste the roast with addl olive oil or pan juices if it looks dry.  Toss the shallots (if you chose to create a bed of them on the bottom of the pan) to promote even browning.  A 2.5 pound roast should take about 30-40 minutes to reach rare doneness. 

A duxelles will give your Chateaubriand more texture, interest and flavor. And, man, will your guests be impressed. For more on duxelles, including alternate recipes and uses, check out its Wikipedia description here.

Bon Appetit!


October 20th, 2008

My Own Personal Yoda

By

I’m a pretty basic cook.

I can cook some great meals, but I don’t stray too far from what I know. I’m not usually very adventurous because I’ve failed a few times at new things. See the Salisbury Steak debacle.

However . . . I have a sister-in-law, Sandy, who is an accomplished cook with an Associate of Arts degree in the Culinary Arts from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. She’s worked at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix, among other schmancy places, preparing filet mignon and other delights for hundreds of people at a time. She also has an MBA and she’s married to my brother, but that’s another story.

Our family taps into Sandy’s expertise every chance we can get. You can imagine who takes the lead in the kitchen at family gatherings. And every time I cook something with her I learn something new.

So it was time for me to branch out and I wanted to try Chateaubriand. I knew I could do it but I needed some guidance. And some step-by-step instructions.

I cried out, Help me, Obi-Wan! And the result was some e-mails from the master that are like gold to me.

Here’s a little preview . . .

Yeah, I did that. But I needed some help. So here’s what Sandy told me to do (in bold):

First thoughts on Chateaubriand-

-It is the center of the tenderloin of beef, the most delicate part

-In a restaurant, it is usually served as a portion for two people

-It is usually fairly uniform in size but may be tied to ensure even cooking.  You can get kitchen twine at the supermarket in the kitchen stuff aisle.  To tie, tuck in any narrow end and tie a square knot to start.  Go down about an inch on the meat, hold the string in place on the top of the meat, go around the bottom and loop or tie again.  It does not matter if you use proper technique or pretty knots, but if the meat is a uniform thickness it will cook evenly.

Note:  I did not do the twine because I actually felt like cooking it unevenly would be a good thing in my house. I like meat a bit more well done than my husband so I liked having both medium and medium well meat slices. For a dinner party, I’d definitely use the twine.

-Let the meat sit out for 1/2 hour before cooking in order to help even cooking throughout.  Preheat oven during this time to get it good and hot.  Season just before the meat goes into the oven.

-Use a roasting pan or heavy ovenproof skillet to cook the meat.  You may want to make a bed of shallots (member of the onion family) to the pan first if you want to make a pan sauce.  Shallots are much milder in flavor than onions and are a traditional accompaniment to delicate flavors like Chateaubriand. Peel the brown papery skin from about a pound of shallots (available next to the onions in most grocery stores).  Toss with a little olive oil in the roasting pan, until glistening (about 1 Tablespoon) and sprinkle with a teaspoon of kosher salt and some grinds of fresh black pepper.  Rub Chateaubriand with olive oil, season with salt and pepper too.

Shallots ready to be peeled in the front, fresh rosemary in back. Oh, the aroma!!

Shallots ready to be peeled in the front, fresh rosemary in back. Oh, the aroma!!

 -Traditionally it will be roasted at a high temperature (450) to medium doneness (or less).  I would only use olive oil, salt and pepper to season.  You may tie rosemary in the trussing string which would give it a little herbal taste.   Rare is 125-130.  Medium is 140.  Use an instant read thermometer or better yet, an electronic (ie the Polder) with the probe stuck in the middle the whole time.  After about the first ten minutes, baste the roast with addl olive oil or pan juices if it looks dry.  Toss the shallots to promote even browning.  A 2.5 pound roast should take about 30-40 minutes to reach rare doneness. 

Ready to be tented in foil. I cooked mine to 145 degrees - I like it a bit more well done.

Ready to be tented in foil. I cooked mine to 145 degrees - I like it a bit more well done.

-When the roast reaches doneness, use tongs to remove from the oven to platter and tent with foil to let the meat juices redistribute within the meat.  Reserve shallots to serving dish.  Add 1/2 cup of a good dry red wine and 1/2 cup homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock to roasting pan and place over high heat to deglaze (remove brown bits from the roast and shallots which are stuck to the pan).  Stir constantly with a heatproof spoon or spatula until the mixture is slightly reduced and thickened.  Remove pan from heat.  At this point you may want to Monte’ au beurre the sauce, which simply means to whisk in a few teaspoons of very cold butter, about 1 teaspoon at a time, to the pan sauce which will thicken and give a richness to the sauce.  Strain into a warm, not hot, sauce dish (you can just put a microwave proof dish on the microwave for 30 seconds or so).

Traditionally served with a potato side, often a Gratin or Dauphinoise. 

I served mine with parsley potatoes -- just boiled, skinned potatoes pan sauteed in butter, chopped onions, kosher salt, ground pepper and chopped parsley. Magnificent!

I served mine with parsley potatoes -- just boiled, skinned potatoes pan sauteed in butter, chopped onions, kosher salt, ground pepper and chopped parsley. Magnificent!

So, dear friends, the moral of this story is that it is completely possible for us civilians to create an amazing meal if we have the right instructions.

And when my husband walked in our door to the smell of roasting shallots, beef drizzled in olive oil and fresh rosemary, he said he thought he had stepped back into the 1950s.

He then asked me to fetch his slippers, pipe and scotch on the rocks.

I told him to take a hike.

Nevertheless, we enjoyed such a good meal that he begged me to make it again. And I will. Only next time I will invite some people over to show them I really can make something great.

I think what made all the difference here (besides starting off with really high quality beef) were Sandy’s exact instructions. You’ll notice she told me where specifically to find the shallots in the supermarket and her cooking time and meat thermometer estimates were right on.  

Also, I’m pretty pleased that I can now Monte’ au beurre something. Just don’t tell anyone it’s really only whipping cold butter into the sauce.

And, since everyone doesn’t have a sister-in-law like Sandy, I’m willing to share mine. I’ll be posting lots more of our discussions in the future for your benefit, too.

Next time, I’ll share with you some other ways Sandy told me I could prepare my Chateaubriand (I got mine here), along with a bernaise sauce that might be right up your alley.

Update:  I have been informed that only half-wits refer to the sauce as “bernaise.” It’s béarnaise. Wikipedia told me so. My apologies to one and all.


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About Me

Hi! My name is Dena P., and I love steak. In fact, I’ve been on a quest for the perfect steak for a few years now.

I love experimenting with food and I like to get my family, friends and neighbors involved. They add a lot to my cooking experience by helping me perfect techniques and sharing recipes.

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Steak Widget