I am convinced that my husband loves me, not because of my sharp wit or the fact that I know more about football than most men. It’s not because we both have the sense of humor of 13 year-old boys, that I whip up a killer dessert on a whim, or that I wield a mean shotgun in Halo 3. My husband loves me because I learned how to cook a steak. Finally. (You should ask about the T-bone in the crockpot ordeal sometime.)
While we were on vacation, I had the most perfectly prepared filet at the most random little place in Breckenridge. They supplied the red meat, we supplied great wine and great company.
The boys ordered grilled local fish, the girls ordered red meat. The Filet Oscar Style came out topped with a creamy mixture of artichoke hearts and crab. We now jokingly refer to my husband’s meal that night as “girly diet food.” His uber bland fish came with a side of limp, over-steamed vegetables and plain rice. I shared. Mostly because I wanted an excuse to grab ice cream afterwards
The filet was one of the first things my husband insisted that I recreate at home when we returned. Even though I handed him a steak that was covered in a “fancy” sauce and a vegetable, my husband gave it the ultimate rating: This is the best thing you’ve ever made. I’ll take the compliment but I’ll admit… it’s really hard to screw up anything that’s covered with Bearnaise sauce.
We also make it in appetizer form – Filet Oscar Crostini. Total rockstar.
Filets served "oscar style" - steak topped with crab meat, blanched asparagus tips, and bearnaise sauce.
- For the steak*
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 4 beef tenderloin steaks
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- For the Bearnaise sauce
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup shallot, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh tarragon
- 3 eggs yolks
- 1 stick butter, cut into 8 pieces
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- To assemble:
- 8 oz lump crab, picked over for shells (or the meat from 2 large steamed King Crab legs)
- Tips from 1 lb asparagus, blanched
- Preheat oven to 375.
- To steam the crab legs, if using, place the king crab legs in a loose-fitting foil pouch. Before sealing tightly, add a small amount of water. Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
- Using a fork or a crab-leg-meat-getter-outer, remove the meat from the crab legs and place in a medium bowl.
- Gently break up any overly-large pieces with your hands.
- To blanch the asparagus tips, bring a small pot of salted water to boil. Add tips and cook for 60-90 seconds, just until the asparagus tips turn bright green.
- Remove and immediately place in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking.
- Drain and add to the crab.
- To cook the steaks: In a large, oven-safe saute pan, melt butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until very hot.
- Pat the steaks dry and season both sides liberally with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
- Place the steaks in the pan and sear 3-4 minutes. Flip, sear for 3 minutes more and place the pan into the oven.
- Cook to an internal temperature of 135 (medium rare), remove from oven and tent with foil while you finish the sauce.
- To make the Bearnaise sauce: Boil wine, vinegar, shallots, and fresh tarragon in a small heavy saucepan until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve set into a medium bowl, pressing on and then discarding solids.
- Whisk the yolks into the vinegar mixture, and then set bowl over a double boiler and cook until hot, whisking constantly until yolks have thickened slightly.
- Whisk in butter 1 piece at a time, adding each piece before previous one has melted completely. Remove from heat and whisk in lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste).
- Keep warm, if necessary, by leaving it on the double-boiler but make sure to turn off the heat.
- To assemble: Add about 1/3 cup of the sauce to the bowl of crab and asparagus. Lightly toss to coat.
- Plate the steaks and top with a generous portion of the crab-asparagus mixture. Top with additional Bearnaise sauce and serve.
Yields: 4 servings
Estimated time: 1 hour 15 minutes