Jess and I take a very simple view of making a steak: a good cut of meat, salt and pepper, and a good sear. Serve rare. We don’t use rubs or marinades with a good steak, and god forbid pouring A-1 or Heinz 57 sauce all over it: a good steak should speak for itself, both in taste and texture, and the only acceptable reason for steak sauce is to cover the taste of a poorly cooked steak.
Having said that, allow me to completely make a liar out of myself and mention that there is something we sometimes like to put on a steak, especially a piece of the tenderloin. Steaks cut from the tenderloin are very tender, but often they lack a lot of flavor. This is due to a lack of fat, and like the chicken breast, we’ve got to find a way to add some flavor to this melt-in-your-mouth cut of beef. Our butcher has already wrapped the filets in a strip of bacon, which will not only add flavor but also keep our steaks nice and moist (basically basting the steak in bacon fat), but we’re going to break our salt-and-pepper only rule and put something over the top of our finished steak: Blue cheese. Now, blue cheese by itself can be a little overpowering, and so we mix it with with some butter to make a creamy, slow melting topping. The butter adds that savory flavor of fat missing from the steak, and the tangy blue cheese compliments the seared meat better than any flavor I can think of. The blue cheese butter is very easy to make and keeps well in the refrigerator or freezer.
Herbed Blue Cheese Butter
- 4 ounces of softened blue cheese.
- 6 tablespoons of softened, unsalted butter. Use real butter, margarine just doesn’t have the right consistency (and honestly, doesn’t actually constitute anything we consider “food”). Make sure it’s unsalted, because blue cheese is pretty salty to begin with.
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley.
- 2-3 teaspoons finely chopped shallots. If you use onions instead, use only 1 teaspoon.
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic.
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice.
- Salt and Pepper (to taste).
Mix everything in a bowl until creamed together. Place into a butter mold, or just wrap up in plastic wrap to make a log and chill at least 30 minutes prior to use. Since I was using these nice little round steaks, I wrapped the butter in some wax paper and molded it in a small ramekin. Slice a decent piece of the butter and place on top of your filet; Serve. Feel free to add other herbs to this basic recipe; thyme, basil, or tarragon can all be excellent additions. Happy Cooking!