February 14, 2003

Steak Chasseur

I had a pretty good day at work yesterday, so I decided to reward myself with a slightly more complex dinner than I normally would make. But none of it was very difficult because of things I keep on hand.

Sauce Chasseur is the French parallel to the Italian cacciatori and means "hunter." Traditionally the sauce or dish contains things that a hunter would find while out on the hunt:
- mushrooms
- herbs (most often tarragon)
- shallots
- tomatoes
- wine or liquor (from his flask, I expect).
For a slightly more elegant style, I made the sauce as a reduction rather than thickening it with roux or other starch. This does require, however, homemade stock rather than canned or base-derived ones. Both contain salt which (as we shall see below) makes a straight reduction come out too salty.

A small amount of butter, chopped shallots, 4 small semi-dried shitaki mushrooms, a medium sprig of tarragon, peppercorns were heated in a small (2 1/2 C) pot. Once slightly cooked, I added about half a cup of wine, and a cup and a half of oxtail stock. Brought it to a boil, skimmed off the top and left it to simmer.

After half an hour of cooking, I strained out the liquid into a bowl, rinsed the pot, and returned the stock to it. This I left simmering and reducing. The final goal was about 4 tablespoons of sauce. You will note that I didn't add any salt -- the reduction obviously will concentrate that, so you want to leave it to the end. The other issue is that meat stocks contain salt from the meat, so they may be salty enough in heavy reductions.

While all of this was going on, an enormous potato was roasting in the oven at 375, having been poked all over with a knife and given a light coating of olive oil to make sure the skin came out crisp.

Once the potato was nearing completion (about an hour and 15 minutes) I heated up a heavy skillet with some rendered duck fat. Highest heat. Salted and peppered a 1.25 inch thick rib steak and added it to the pan. 5 minutes on side one, 4 on side two (with the heat reduced to medium at that point).

Placed the potato and steak on an extra large heavy plate, spooned the sauce around the steak, slit the potato and added a dollop of butter, salt, and pepper. I let it rest for 2 minutes before I couldn't take it any more and began to eat.

To drink, a 1999 S. Anderson Cab. It was a bit thin, so I didn't feel badly about drinking it so young.

Posted by dowdy at February 14, 2003 08:25 AM