Steak with Cabernet Wine Sauce
I love a good steak. I don’t eat it often, so when I do, I splurge on a great cut, usually beef tenderloin (filet mignon) and cook it at home. You can make a steak on the stovetop just as good or better than one you’d get at a top steakhouse. Plus, you’ll save money!
Start with the best steak you can find and if possible, have the steaks cut by a good butcher to your specifications.
Once you master the technique of pan searing along with the creation of a pan sauce, you can apply the method to many different types of protein from chicken to pork to fish. The basics stay the same: one pan, wine to deglaze, an acid, some key seasonings and butter to emulsify.
There are a lot of steps but creating a great steak using this method is easy once you get the hang of it. Give it a try — you’ll love the results and you may just have the best steak you’ve ever eaten, right at your own table.
Since we’re creating the steakhouse experience at home, why not go retro and serve tater tots with sour cream and chives instead of the classic baked potato? It’s so simple — the over temperature for baking the tots is the same as for the steak. Adding a classic wedge salad with bleu cheese dressing is a must and brings the entire meal together. You can give the wedge salad a great update by using Bibb lettuce like I did rather than flavorless iceberg.
- You’ll need an oven-safe sauté or chef’s pan such as stainless steel or cast iron. Do not use aluminum or non-stick pans.
- 4 steaks — it’s important for the steaks to be of similar size and thickness. For this recipe, I used 4 6-ounce beef tenderloin cuts (filet mignon), about 2 inches thick.
- Coarsely cracked black pepper, about 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small shallot, finely diced
- 1/2 cup mushrooms (any mushrooms you like or that are in season), coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup good, bold red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon (use the same wine you will be drinking with the steak)
- 2/3 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 cup water (if needed)
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey or sugar
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Take steaks out of the fridge 20-30 minutes before cooking. Pat dry to sop up any moisture on the steaks.
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Season steaks with good amounts of the cracked pepper and salt. Pepper all sides of the steak, including the sides. With fingers, pat the seasonings into the steak sides.
- Heat stove top burner to medium high.
- Once the pan feels hot when you hold your hand above it, add the olive oil and butter. The but-ter will foam. When the butter foam subsides, immediately add the steaks. It is essential that the pan is hot. Sear for 4 minutes — do not disturb the steaks. The pan will smoke — this is normal during the searing process. After 4 minutes, turn the steaks over and sear the other side for 3 minutes. Both sides should have a very nice seared crust.
- Place the pan with the steaks into the 425 degree oven: 2-3 minutes for rare; 3-4 minutes for medium-rare and 5 minutes for rare. These times may vary a bit; it’s better to slightly undercook the meat to your desired doneness than overcook, as the meat will continue to cook just a bit as it rests. You can use a meat thermometer to ascertain doneness (125-130 degrees for rare, 130-140 degrees for medium-rare, 140-150 degrees for medium). Do not overcook. Another trick: if you push on the top of a steak and the steak “bounces” back, the steak is medium-rare.
- Take pan out of the oven and remove steaks to a platter. Cover the steaks with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes before serving. This is a vitally important step to ensure a juicy, ten-der steak.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pan sauce.
- Use the same pan in which you seared the steaks. Heat the stove to medium. Add 1 table-spoon olive oil. Add the shallot and sauté for about 2 minutes, constantly stirring so as not to burn. Add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up the flavorful stuck meat bits. Turn the heat up slightly and reduce by about half to intensify flavors, about 4-5 minutes (should be thick and gooey). Add the chicken stock and reduce again by about 1/3 (another 3-4 minutes). Add the mustard and honey. Continue stirring. After about 1 minute, add the Balsamic vinegar and stir. The sauce mixture should be thickened at this point. If it is too thick, add a bit of water. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Add the butter and stir to bring the sauce together and emulsify. Add about half of the chopped parsley and remove from the heat.
- Pour the sauce over the steaks and serve, adding the rest of the chopped parsley as a garnish.
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