Filet of Beef, Sauce Porto with Roasted Shallots

Here’s another steak recipe that’s all about the sauce. As always, this requires good, homemade veal stock and demi-glace. If you don’t have these, make something else.

Filet of Beef, Sauce Porto with Roasted Shallots from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 shallots, peeled whole
  • 1 shallot, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 8-ounce beef filets
  • salt and freshly cracked peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 3 ounces port
  • 1 cup strong dark veal stock, (again, a tiny spoon of demi-glace would really boost this sauce)

METHOD:

  1. PREP: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F/170 degrees C. Place the peeled whole shallots in the small ovenproof saute pan, throw in 2 tablespoons/28 g of the butter, cover with foil, and put in the oven. Cook low and slow, gently turning the shallots every once in a while, until they are brown and soft and slightly limp, but still recognizable and intact – about 45 minutes to an hour. Remove and keep warm.

  2. COOK: Jack the oven up to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in the large saute pan over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon/14 g of the butter, let it foam, and allow it to subside. Sear the meat on all sides, using the tongs to turn the filets. Make sure the sides are seared, too. Transfer the meat to the roasting pan and place in the oven. Roast for about 7 minutes for rare, 10 minutes for medium rare.

  3. Discard the fat from the large saute pan and add 1 tablespoon/14 g of the butter. Heat over medium flame and, when hot, add the sliced shallot. Cook for 4 minutes, sprinkle in the flour, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the port and deglaze, scraping with the wooden spoon. Reduce the wine by half, then add the stock (and your demi-glace, I hope), bring to a boil, and reduce by half again, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Adjust the seasoning and strain through the fine strainer into a small saucepan. Bring the sauce back to a boil, remove from the heat, and whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter.

  4. SERVE: Remove the filets from the oven, rest them a few moments, and arrange on the platter. Artfully nestle 3 of the cooked whole shallots next to each filet and spoon over the sauce. Good with mashed potatoes.

Thanksgiving Gravy

I’m not big on gravy, but this was really good. I think the addition of wine made the difference. I also skipped the heart and gizzard because no one else wanted that in the gravy, but I think that would have made it even better.

Thanksgiving Gravy

INGREDIENTS:

  • Flour
  • Rendered turkey fat from the roasting pan or butter
  • 2 large shallots minced
  • kosher salt as needed
  • heart and gizzards, chopped (optional)
  • 1 cup tasty white wine
  • 1-1/2 to 2 quarts/liters turkey stock (I use a cup/250 milliliters per person, and then a little extra)

METHOD:

  1. In a small saute pan over medium heat, combine a tablespoon each of flour and fat for every cup of stock you have and cook over medium heat till the flour is lightly browned, about ten minutes. Set this roux aside to cool.

  2. In a 2.5 quart/liter sauce pan or larger, sweat the shallots in turkey fat or butter. Hit them with a four finger pinch of salt. Add the gizzards and cook. Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Whisk in the cooled roux. A little at a time until you have the desired consistency. Simmer on medium, skimming gunk off the surface as needed for a half hour or so till the flour cooks out. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary (a tablespoon or two of fish sauce will deepen the turkey flavor). Remove from the heat an cover until ready to reheat and serve.

Flatiron Steak with Herb Butter

When you think of all the different ways you can prepare a steak, sometimes the simplest are the best. This simple recipe has got to be my favorite. It takes very little time and the flavors are spectacular. The one thing you really need to do though, is learn to test the doneness of your steak by touch. The times in the recipe are longer than I’ve had to cook it.

Flatiron Steak with Herb Butter

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 10-ounce flatiron steaks
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups shallots, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced thyme
  • 4 1/2-inch-thick rounds Maitre d’Hotel Butter

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

  2. Generously season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper, keeping in mind that the salt and pepper will also season the shallots as they cook.

  3. Place two large skillets over high heat. Add 1/8 inch of canola oil to each skillet and heat until hot. Add 2 steaks and 1 teaspoon of butter to each skillet, reduce the heat slightly, and cook for about a minute to brown the first side. Turn the steaks over, tilt the skillet, and use a spoon to baste the meat as it sautes on the second side. When the second side of the steak has browned, but the steak is still quite undercooked, drain off any excess fat. Scatter half the shallots, thyme, and remaining butter around the steaks in each skillet and stir to combine. After 2 or 3 minutes, when the steaks are cooked to rare, transfer them to a small baking sheet. Continue to cook the shallots until they have softened but have not browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

  4. Spoon the shallots over the steaks and place the baking sheet in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until the steaks are cooked to medium-rare. Place a round of maitre d’hotel butter on top of each steak and return to the oven just until the butter begins to melt.

Maitre d’Hotel Butter

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

METHOD:

  1. Put the butter in a small bowl and stir with a spoon or stiff spatula until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

  2. Cut a piece of plastic wrap and form the butter into a rough log about 4 inches long, about 2 inches from one end of the plastic wrap. Roll up the butter in the plastic, then twist the ends to form a compact log about 1 1/4 inches in diameter. (The butter can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.)

Tender Beef Tongue with Onions and Garlic

I made Tender Beef Tongue with Onions and Garlic.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 beef tongue
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno (optional), sliced in half or minced
  • Pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1 bay leaf

METHOD:

Put all ingredients into a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then turn it down to a simmer for about 3 hours until tender. Let cool until you are able to handle. Peel off skin and slice.

NOTES:

Beef tongue can be eaten plain (many people recommend dipping it in mustard), pickled, or sauted until crispy.

Demi-Glace

If you took the plunge and made veal stock, here’s a quick and dirty way to use some of that to make a demi-glace.

The recipe is pretty simple: 1 part red wine, 3 parts veal stock, and a few chopped shallots.

  1. Put the wine and shallots in a pot over high heat and reduce by half.
  2. Had the veal stock and bring to a simmer (Never boil sock).
  3. Reduce like crazy until the stock is rich and dark and coats the back of a spoon. Be patient. It’ll take a few hours.
  4. Strain the stock thru a cheesecloth lined colander as many times as you can stand. The more the better.
  5. Stick the pot in an ice bath to cool it down.
  6. Put the cool sauce in ice cubes trays and freeze. They should last for 3 or 4 months.

Now you time you need to add a little punch to a sauce or dish, just throw 1 or 2 of these in.