|Vietnamese Steak au Poivre with Charred Vegetables|
Becky and I recently did a "foodie" vacation to Napa. It was all about the food and wine. I enjoyed it thoroughly and began thinking about what other foodie spots I would like to visit. Two cities immediately pop to mind: Bangkok, Thailand and Saigon, Vietnam.
Thai and Vietnamese cuisines are two of my favorites. I am an absolute nut for anything made with fish sauce. So it made me incredibly happy when I opened the April issue of Food and Wine and saw this recipe. Like all Thai and Vietnamese recipes, the ingredient list can be a little intimidating. However, once you have all the ingredients at hand, the cooking goes pretty fast. This Chris Sheperd recipe serves four.
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
One 1-1/2 inch cinnamon stick
1 star anise
2 tablespoons fish sauce (Red Boat recommended)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons black peppercorns, crushed
Fresh ground pepper
1-1/2 pounds of small heads of broccoli and cauliflower
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup of yellow mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup hot sauce (Tabasco or Sriracha)
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
Four, 6-ounce center cut beef tenderloin steaks
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the cinnamon stick and star anise and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the fish sauce and sugar and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock and simmer over moderately high heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 15 minutes. Add the cream and simmer until the sauce is thickened and reduced by half, about 10 minutes longer. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve set over a medium bowl; discard the solids. Return the sauce to the saucepan and stir in the crushed peppercorns. Season with salt and keep warm.
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet. In a large bowl, toss the broccoli and cauliflower with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Working in batches, cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly charred all over and crisp- tender, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a work surface and let cool. Cut into bite-size pieces and wipe out the bowl. In the bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the mustard, vinegar and hot sauce until smooth. Fold in the charred vegetables, the red onion and sunflower seeds and season the salad with salt. Wipe out the skillet.
- In the skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Season the steaks with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, turning only once for 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a work surface and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with the peppercorn sauce and the charred-vegetable salad.
Wine pairing: A nice fruity Zinfandel. A Rombauer, if you are really lucky.