Friday, January 16, 2009

Pan Seared Steaks with Bordelaise Sauce

The better the steak, the less you have to do to improve its taste. Choose a USDA prime beef steak that has some marbling (a little fat running through the meat) to insure great flavor.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large shallots, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef broth
1 tablespoon beef demi-glace
2 tablespoons butter, chilled, cut into pieces
Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 medium garlic cloves, minced, about 1 teaspoon
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 (6 to 8-ounce) boneless strip steaks, ¾ to 1-inch thick
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

For the sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Cook the shallots in the pan until soft, about 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in the vinegar and wine. Bring this mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until the liquid reduces to about ½ cup, about 15 minutes. Add the beef broth. Simmer until the liquid reduces to 1 cup, about 5 minutes more. Stir in the demi-glace. Strain the sauce through a sieve over a small pot. Over low heat, whisk in the butter and season with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm.

Bring the steaks to room temperature and season with Worcestershire sauce, thyme and garlic. Season with pepper. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet, over high heat until the mixture begins to smoke. Place the steaks into the skillet. Cook until browned on one side, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook until browned, about 3 to 5 minutes more. Season with salt.

Serve the steaks with a drizzle of sauce and garnish with fresh parsley.

Servings: 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 20 to 30 minutes for sauce
Cook Time: 6 to 10 minutes for the steak, depending on the thickness

Sources and Substitutions
Bordelaise sauce is traditionally prepared with a brown stock, which begins by browning marrow bones in a skillet, adding stock, and reducing (for hours!) to produce a rich, dark flavorful liquid. A spoonful of demi glace can simulate the same rich results, with much less effort. Demi-glace is available in beef, veal, chicken and even veggie essences. You can find demi-glace in specialty markets and on-line at Williams-Sonoma.

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