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Sauces & toppings for steak


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How do you folks top your steaks?

The purist in me says that a properly charred steak should be eaten au natural. True, Lugers serves a salad dressing in a gravy boat that many ladle on their steaks (check the label, eGulletarians: their vaunted "steak sauce" is indeed meant for salad! :shock: ) Frankly, I thought that said "sauce," though robust & flavorful, masked the flavor of their steak.

Some restaurants even go so far as to blanket a ribeye steak in bleu cheese. This is barbaric. :laugh: (And I love a good, pungent bleu cheese). A common preparation is to wrap filet mignon in bacon, but I think this is due to the low marbling (and thus bland flavor) of a filet.

Frankly, if I want cheese on a steak, I'll have a cheezborger, cheezborger! :laugh:

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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Some restaurants even go so far as to blanket a ribeye steak in bleu cheese.  This is barbaric.  :laugh:  (And I love a good, pungent bleu cheese).

They seem to do this in the Asturia province of Spain. When we were in Madrid, my friend and I went to an Asturian restaurant and she was thrilled to be able to order a steak covered in a blue cheese sauce. (I however went with the hake in cider casserole.) She enjoyed herself tremendously and I think the meal is permanently imprinted in her memory bank.

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Bearnaise on the side with my hanger steak and frites.

At a great steakhouse, I like it plain, but at home I like the flavor of maytag bleu cheese with my rib-eye. So I usually just have a small wedge on the plate on the side. A bite of cheese, a bite of steak, and swig of Cornas . . . heavenly.

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Top? Never. But a little bearnaise on the side.

It's been a long time since I've seen béarnaise sauce on a menu. Along with a lot of other classics, I don't see it any longer. Is it not being offered or do I no longer go to the right restaurants in my quest for creative cuisine? Am I one of the ones responsible for the disappearance of these classics because I haven't been looking for them and because I stopped ordering them? Just a few days ago, I was offered the choice between a pepper sauce and a béarnaise for my hanger steak. I chose the pepper steak, a reduction of meat juices enriched with peppercorns. In self defense, hanger steak seems a little rich for béarnaise.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Bearnaise on the side with my hanger steak and frites.

That's what makes horse races. eGullet may be at its best when you get two contrasting opinions posted at precisely the same minute. Oh what the hell, throw in enough wine, vinegar and shallots and I'll enjoy bearnaise with hanger steak as well. I'll take a few sprigs of watercress with the frites to keep my doctor happy. :biggrin:

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I was served bearnaise on the side at Plaza III in Kansas City recently. The steak was so good it really didn't need anything. I approve of slices of bone marrow as a topping; foie gras and black truffles, of course; and the various red wine sauces, with and without onions, shallots, mushrooms etc - but probably best reserved for one of the more modest cuts.

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:biggrin:

I like to finish a steak with a bit of shallot butter -- but I like to think that if I've done the cooking and seasoning job right in the kitchen, I won't need much of anything more on the plate.

Bearnaise is wonderful, but I find it a tad bit too rich sometimes.

:biggrin:

Me, I vote for the joyride every time.

-- 2/19/2004

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Bux, one of the benefits - or tragedies - of my Cordon Bleu education is that I can't eat certain things out. I prefer to make them myself. Like bearnaise. It was in fact our technical sauce for Intermediate Cuisine final exams. So you can imagine how particular I've become about that one. But I did go to a very good old school brasserie - Au Boeuf Coronne, way up in the 19th - with a couple of serious gourmand friends - Burke and Wells, for those who know them - and ABC does in fact offer bearnaise with their very classic menu. They're the kind of place that leaves you the whole ceramic terrine of pate de campagne to eat all you can - knowing you won't since you've ordered - let's say - their enormous steak tartare as your plat.

Au Boeuf Couronné

188 AVENUE JEAN JAURES

75019 PARIS

01 42 39 54 54

BÉARNAISE SAUCE

Reduction

50 ml cider or tarragon vinegar

20 g shallots, finely chopped

1 tbsp chervil stems, chopped

1 tbsp tarragon stems, chopped

1 pinch crushed peppercorns

50 ml dry white wine

-------

180 g clarified butter

4 egg yolks

50 ml water

Finish

1 tbsp finely chopped chervil and tarragon leaves

Boil cider and wine with shallots, chervil and tarragon stems and peppercorns – to syrup, set aside.

Whisk yolks with water then continue in bain marie to ribbon. Then whisk in reduction.

Off heat, drizzle/whisk in clarified butter. Taste/season.

Chinois, taste/season.

Add chopped chervil and tarragon leaves to warm sauce just before serving.

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Toppings on steak are for tourists. :wink::laugh:

I'm not a big fan of butter on steak; chalk it up to my sort-of-kosher upbringing. But I, too, like chimmichuri, to cut the richness. Any sauce or topping on the side -- always, and ONLY, on the side. Leaves me the mythical feeling of a modicum of control. :raz:

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Bearnaise is great suff, but there is nothing wrong with steak sauce or hot sauce either in my opinion. I'm especially fond of Pick a Peppa sauce, as well as Tabasco's newest offering, their Chipotle sauce which so far, can only be ordered on the internet and in other test markets. Both of which are borderline steak sauces.

Peter Luger's commercial sauce is OK but I find it a bit too sweet.

And for what its worth, A1 and A1 Bold are pretty damn good commercial products.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Toppings on steak are for tourists.  :wink:  :laugh:

I'm not a big fan of butter on steak; chalk it up to my sort-of-kosher upbringing. 

You go, Girl! :rolleyes: The idea of putting butter on a steak makes me shiver. :shock:

Note to the non-M.O.T.'s: mixing beef and dairy is traif (non-kosher) in Jewish dietary law.

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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Like bearnaise. It was in fact our technical sauce for Intermediate Cuisine final exams. So you can imagine how particular I've become about that one.

I'm reminded of the old quote from a random famous French chef (possibly bocuse) that bearnaise is something simple but you have to do it fifty times before you say you can do it right

I'm sure you will sympathise!

On the grilled cow stakes, one of Peter Gordon (Sugar Club, Providores) signature dishes is/was Beef Pesto; in short a fillet steak with pesto glazed on top (I think theres some marinading involved too) - actually tastes better than it sounds (its in his sugar club cookbook)

cheerio

J

More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!
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So what about Dylan Prime's various toppings? The only one I've tried is the wild mushroom. OK, but not really needed when the steak is good.

From the Dylan Prime Web Site:

We recommend the following accents - it's up to you.

CHAPEAUX - $3

MEAT

MAYTAG BLUE & CHIVE or PARMESAN REGGIANO

FISH

CALIFORNIA SPINACH or BASIL PESTO

FOR MEAT OR FISH

WILD MUSHROOM & TRUFFLE or

CHIMICHURRI or

HUDSON VALLEY FOIE GRAS ($12. SUPPLEMENT )

SAUCES - $2

MAKERS MARK BOURBON

HERB BEARNAISE

DIJON MUSTARD ROASTED SHALLOT

AU POIVRE BEURRE ROUGE

BLACK TRUFFLE BEURRE BLANC

BORDELAISE

Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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So what about Dylan Prime's various toppings?  The only one I've tried is the wild mushroom.  OK, but not really needed when the steak is good.

From the Dylan Prime Web Site:

We recommend the following accents - it's up to you.

CHAPEAUX - $3

I'd only put a hat on my steak if it's REALLY cold.

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