This delicious, elegant steak dinner makes a perfect romantic dinner for two. It is a show-off dinner that you can prepare right in front of your guest. It only takes a few minutes to do the "cooking".
The trick is having everything set up in advance and all lined up.That way, with great showmanship, you can magically saute the meat and prepare the sauce to everyone's delight. Theoretically, this dish can be prepared in a chafing dish at the table. I say theoretically, because most of the chafing dishes on the market are more for keeping things warm, rather than actually "cooking". I prefer to do the dish in the kitchen, but with my company gathering round to watch the alchemy.
Be sure that everything is lined up before you start the final presentation. Everything goes in very fast, and you don't want to be caught fumbling with a stubborn bottle cap when you're supposed to be at your most suave.
- Two steaks about half a pound each, fillet mignon or boneless strip
- 1 T cornstarch
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 Cup beef broth
- salt & pepper
- 1 T green peppercorns in water
- 1 T Dijon mustard
- 2 T Madeira
- Bunch of scallions
- 1/2 bunch parsley
- Worcestershire sauce
I like to use filet mignon for this dish, but you can also use strip steak (as I am in these illustrations) if you carefully remove all of the gristle and fat from the meat before you start. I don't like to use rib-eye, because it often has large veins of fat running through it that don't work well when the meat is "flattened" in the next step.
Put each slice of steak between two large sized plastic baggies. Use a meat hammer to flatten the meat to about a quarter inch thick. (We use the plastic to protect the meat from the direct impact of the hammer and also to keep the juices from splattering about the kitchen. Thin is better than thick, but we don't want the steak to rip.)
When the meat is fairly thin, I usually remove the plastic and work delicately to make sure it is evenly thin. That little piece of fat in the top left should be removed. Roll the meat and it with clear wrap and put in the fridge.
The Steak Sauce: Add a T of cornstarch to a bowl. We'll be bringing this bowl to the table if we're cooking there, so use a nice bowl.
Now, add a T of Dijon mustard.
Mix it together into a paste. Note: if you're going to do the final cooking at the table, you might want to prepare the steak sauce in a "nice" bowl that will compliment your setting.
Add a cup of beef broth to the mustard/cornstarch paste and stir till smooth. Wipe down the inside edge of the bowl so it doesn't look "crusty" (as the one in the picture does). Cover and put in the refrigerator.
Using a knife, chop a quarter cup of shallots or scallions. There's not enough here to warrant messing up the food processor. Put them in a nice small bowl that will compliment your table. Cover.
Repeat the process with parsley, yielding about a quarter cup. Like the scallions, we won't need the parsley until we're ready for final preparation. Set it in a nice small bowl, covered, until then.
Let's get everything lined up before we start cooking. If you're going to do the dish at the table you'll want to make the presentation of the ingredients fancier, using nice small bowls to hold each. Even if you're doing the dish in the kitchen, pre measuring will help you work faster. Here's what we need:
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/2 stick of butter cut into four pieces
- the bowl with our steak sauce
- 1 T Green Peppercorns
- the bowl of Scallions
- the bowl of Parsley
- the Lemon cut in two pieces
- a bottle of Madeira
- a bottle of Worcestershire sauce
- Sea Salt & Fresh Pepper
Make sure the bottles are all pre-opened. You don't want to be fooling with the paper wrapper on the outside of the Worcestershire sauce as your steak is cooking.
At this point your table should be set. Everything we need for final preparation is either on the table with the chafing dish or neatly next to the stove. Take a deep breath! We want to make sure everything we're going to serve with our steak is ready as well. Veggies should be prepped now and put in covered serving dishes until ready to bring to the table. The final cooking of our steak takes less than 7 min tues, so everything else should be done first. Also, warm the dinner plates in the oven until you're ready to serve.
If you're cooking at the table you will still want to preheat your frying pan on the stove. Get it good and hot before you bring it to the warming stand. Immediately, put the 2 T butter in the frying pan with 1 T of oil (or enough to film the bottom of the pan).
Add the green peppercorns to the hot pan.
Add the steaks and saute over a high heat for about 30-40 seconds on a side, till it browns. Don't overcook! We want the steak to be rare! It will get another bath in the sauce at the end, so we don't want it to cook through here. Now, put the steaks on a warm plate.
To the pan add :
juice of half a lemon (try to avoid getting seeds in the sauce, fish out any that make it through).
- the scallions
- the parsley
Add a couple of T of Madeira.
Add a few drops of Worcestershire sauce.
Stir the beef broth/mustard/cornstarch liquid and pour into the pan.
Stir in the salt & pepper. Stir over a moderate heat until the sauce thickens.
Bathe the steaks in the sauce, to warm them. Just dip them in for a moment or two.
Put some sauce on the plate, then the steak, and then more sauce. Here I've served the steak with creamed spinach and salad of mixed greens.