Delmonico Steak with Faux Bordelaise Sauce

This is a fantastic recipe from Deborah Krasner’s cookbook Good Meat. The meat was so tender and full of flavor after I wet aged it for about 17 days, then dry aged them for 24 hours. I didn’t realize you are only supposed to one or the other, not both.

There’s some controversy about what cut of meat a Delmonico steak really is–a top sirloin, bone-in top loin (from the short loin), or rib eye. Although some say it can only be rib eye, in my experience, steaks labeled “Delmonico” can be boneless or bone-in and come from different parts of the cow. Wherever the steak comes from, it is always tender and rich, and it’s made even more so by its nearly traditional accompaniment–my version of Bordelaise sauce. (If you want to go all out, add mashed potatoes topped with grated cheese and bread crumbs).

I call my sauce faux because classic Bordelaise uses bone marrow and demi-glace, which are not always found in the average home pantry. I substitute butter for the marrow (although if you have marrow, do use it!). If you don’t have homemade beef stock, be wary of using beef bouillon for two reasons: First, it’s not from grass-fed beef, and second, it tends to be salty. If you save the drippings from roasting beef, you may have a supply of the dark jelly that separates from the fat–if so, use this culinary gold here instead of stock.

For the steak:
1 1/2 pounds grass-fed Delmonico steak
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt such as a gray Atlantic or Celtic (for pan-searing only)

For the sauce:
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or bone marrow diced
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup red wine
Leaves from 1 small sprig fresh thyme
1 cup of homemade beef stock, greatly reduced, or 1/2 cup of the jelly layer formed by saved beef drippings

Be sure you have a really nice quality cast iron frying pan. Bring the meat to room temperature, rinse it, and blot it well. Heat a dry, seasoned cast-iron frying pan large enough to hold the steak flat. When the pan is hot, add the salt so it is scattered all over the pan. When the salt begins to pop, add the steak.

Cook until the meat no longer sticks to the pan, about 3 minutes. Turn it and cook the other side the same way, removing the meat promptly to rest on a plate while making the sauce. Make sure not to repeatedly flip the steak or pierce it which will allow all the juices to escape and you want to keep those juices in the steak.

Coarsely crack the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or in a plastic bag using the underside of a cast-iron frying pan. Set aside.

Heat a shallow pan such as a frying pan over medium low heat, and then add half the butter (or marrow) until gently melted. Over medium heat, cook the shallots in the fat until translucent and wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it has reduced by half, 3 minutes or so. Lower the heat and add the thyme and peppercorns and cook until there is very little liquid left, being careful not to burn the contents of the pan.

Add the reduced beef stock or beef jelly and the remaining half of the butter, and cook, whisking as needed, for about 5 minutes or until further reduced and silky. Pour the sauce over the steak and serve.

To accompany these steaks, I made celery root mashed potatoes topped with grated parmigiano reggiano cheese a recipe from Nourishing Traditions Cookbook by Sally Fallon.

Potato and Celery Root Purée
6 baked potatoes, wash, cut a bit of the ends off and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours on 350
3 celery roots, peeled and cut up
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and mashed
pinch of nutmeg
Celtic sea salt, pepper
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 to 1 cup piima cream or creme fraiche

Cover the celery root pieces with cold water, bring to a boil and cook until very tender, about 30 minutes. Cut up the butter and place in the bottom of a large bowl. Scoop out potato flesh into the bowl. Add celery root and garlic, and mash all together. Add the cream to obtain desired consistency. If you want your purée really smooth, you may now mix with handheld beater. Season to taste. I grated some fresh cheese and sprinkled on top of the potatoes. Transfer to a buttered ovenproof dish and keep warm in the oven.

Check out all  pictures here

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