Sunday, 17 August 2014

Steak Bearnaise

Fillet steak with a Bearnaise sauce

This is such a luxurious, indulgent dish. Like all the recipes in this blog; sensational results from embarrassingly little effort. And all the emphasis is on flavour not poncy presentation.This dish was always a favourite of my father's. He used to be a roofer. So Dad, if you're up there.... (I love that Stuart Francis joke).


4 matured, pedigree herd fillet steaks (better still get your butcher to give you a whole fillet and you cut your own steaks to the thickness you want. I love them about 1 1/2 inches thick)
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons of double cream
1/4 teaspoon of salt
A pinch of cayenne pepper
1 table spoon of white wine vinegar
150g softened butter cut up into tiny cubes
1 teaspoon of chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1/4 teaspoon of finely chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon of finely chopped chives

The cooking

Start by making a bain marie; find a heat proof bowl that is wide enough to sit on top of a saucepan of water, and deep enough so that when it is there, the base is just below the surface of the water. Keep the bowl cool and clear of the saucepan when you start your sauce, and heat the water in the saucepan so it is gently bubbling. In the cold bowl, mix your egg yolks, cream, salt, cayenne pepper and vinegar and whisk together so all the ingredients are mixed together. Then, place the bowl onto your saucepan of bubbling water and continue to whisk until it starts to thicken. Then, cube by cube, add your butter and continue to whisk as each cube melts. Continue this process until all the butter has been melted and blended and your sauce has become fairly thick. Add you tarragon, parsley and chives and stir in. Turn the heat off under your saucepan and leave your sauce in the bain marie to rest.

Now fry or grill your steak. Turn the heat up as high as it will go. While you are waiting for the pan or the grill to heat up, pour a dribble of vegetable oil onto your hands and massage it into both sides of all your steaks. Then season with a pinch of salt and plenty of freshly ground black or green pepper. Wait until the heat in your pan or your grill is absolutely searing before starting to cook your steaks. Then cook for 1 1/2 minutes on each sides for the perfect, pink in the middle rare steak.If you are frying, prod them occasionally to stop them from sticking. Alternatively, if you wish to ruin them, 2 minutes each side for medium steaks or up to 3 minutes on each side if you want it well done and shite.

Serve with sweet veg such as baby carrots or mange tout peas and crispy, sauteed potatoes or chips.Or if you are feeling really luxuriant, gratin dauphinois.

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