Monthly Archives: April 2011

Steaks and Texas Go Great Together


Being from the Midwest I thought I knew everything about steaks (and potatoes). Not true.

Allen Brothers Tenderloin Filet

Sometimes there is a confluence of events that makes decisions effortless. For example, within a one week period I received, directly to my doorstep, a box of prime, aged Allen Brothers steaks and an incredible cookbook. The Big Texas Steakhouse Cookbook.

The Big Texas Steakhouse Cookbook

If that isn’t amazing timing I’m not sure what is. For a meat lover, it’s the equivalent of having a genie show up at your door. Then, five minutes later, your always resourceful neighbor (we all have one) stops by with the latest copy of, 100 Fun Things To Do With Your Brand New Genie. It just doesn’t get much better.

Pictured above are two delicious Allen Brothers steaks. For the uninitiated, Allen Brothers has been selling fantastic aged beef to the public since 1893. So, they’ve been at it a while. They’re steaks are truly great.

Obviously, steaks like these need to be treated with some care and thought. I couldn’t think of a better source of inspiration than Helen Thompson and Janice Shay’s brand new guide to the way they do steaks down in Texas.

Enthusiastically, I cracked it open. Boy, there was a seemingly endless supply of options. Not only were there fantastic preparation choices, but, lots of great reading on the subject of beef and steaks in particular. I had to settle on something, Originally, I had thought this was a slam dunk, just pick something. Easy right? Not so. I pretty much like all meat. Plus, the drool from looking at the photos was making the pages sticky.

Decision time was here. No more stalling. I picked a recipe from Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in Dallas. I would try my hand at their Seared Tenderloin with Chimichurri and Toasted Goat Cheese. That in itself is more than a mouthful.

I knew that Del Frisco’s probably makes this dish day in and day out. So, it’s like falling out of bed for them. I’m giving it one shot with a piece of meat I don’t want to trash. Here we go.

Seared Tenderloin with Chimichurri and Toasted Goat Cheese

You’ll need a couple of 8-10 ounce filet mignon steaks. Use some great aged meat if you have access to it. You can see my selection above.

I seasoned my steaks with salt and pepper before I cooked them. Sear steaks in a cast iron skillet. I did mine outdoors, more on that later. After searing, your steaks need a rest.

Steaks Resting

This is a good time for a beer. Since I was using the grill, this seemed like the thing to do.

Old Style

After they rest for 15 minutes it’s time to crumble some goat cheese on top and slide them under the broiler to brown the cheese and reheat the steaks.

At this point the recipe calls for making the Chimichurri Sauce. My advice to you, make this before you start cooking anything (that’s why I had time for that beer). It’s a great Chimichurri recipe, but, there is no way an average home cook can whip this sauce together before the steaks become a burnt, cheesy mess. Plus, you want to take your time and make it right. You’ll thank me later.

To make the sauce you’ll need some fresh oregano.

Fresh Oregano

And, some fresh parsley.

Fresh Parsley

Mix with chopped garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper.

If you insist on making the sauce while browning the cheese, DON’T FORGET YOUR MEAT! Check on it more than occasionally. Seriously.

After the cheese is nicely browned, remove the steaks from the boiler. Spoon about 2-3 ounces of your Chimichurri over the top and serve.

Seared Tenderloin with Chimichurri and Toasted Goat Cheese.

WOW! What else can you say? This recipe is a knockout. It would be great to serve for guests. It’s actually not much more difficult than a straight grilled steak. But, the presentation and taste is well beyond anything just grilling could produce.

That being said, I’m sure you would like the particulars.

Here’s How To Do It

Ingredients – Steaks
8-10 oz. filet mignon steaks
2 oz. goat cheese, per steak (Chevre)
2 cups Chimichurri Sauce, at room temperature
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

Chimichurri Sauce
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp. fresh garlic, chopped
3 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. crushed red pepper

Make the Chimichurri Sauce first. Combine all of the above ingredients in a bowl and stir. I put all of my ingredients in a mini food processor and gave it a few pulses. It gave the sauce the consistency I like. Set aside. The sauce should be served at room temperature.

This is a two-step cooking process. First you have pan searing, then the cooking that goes along with the cheese being browned. The recipe calls for a cast iron skillet that has been rubbed with olive oil and dried. Pre heat your broiler now.

Place your skillet on medium-high heat on the stove. I chose to put my skillet directly on the grates of my outdoor gas grill. Once the smoke detector goes off in my house, things head in a decidedly horrible direction. If you have great kitchen ventilation try inside, but, I think we know how this will end. I’m talking about household pets scurrying, children shrieking and spouses standing with their hands on their hips with that “what the hell are you doing” look on their face. It’s best for all concerned to cook outdoors (at least that’s my experience).

Once the skillet is heated, add the steaks. The recipe calls for one 8-10 ounce filet mignon per person. Sear the first side 4 minutes without moving the meat. Flip the steak and sear second side for 3 minutes. Once seared remove from the skillet. Let rest 15 minutes. (Remember, this is where the beer consumption comes in.)

After resting, crumble about 2 ounces of goat cheese on top of each steak. Place on a sheet pan and slide under broiler. Broil until steaks are heated through and the cheese has browned nicely. Remove steaks and spoon and 2-3 ounces of Chimichurri Sauce over the top. Serve!

I stuck to the prescribed cooking times. When the steaks were finished they were on the rare side of medium rare. So, you may want to adjust the searing time to accommodate your preference for doneness.

Recipe Adapted From:Seared Tenderloin with Chimichurri and Toasted Goat Cheese, Helen Thompson and Janice Shay, The Big Texas Steakhouse Cookbook. Pelican Publishing Company.

The Bottom Line

The Big Texas Steakhouse Cookbook has a great array of fantastic recipes to choose from. The starters, sides, sauces and rubs all are nice accompaniments to the main courses. Robert Peacock’s food photography is stunning. Great shots. Shooting meat (at least with a camera) ain’t easy. I know they say everything’s BIG in Texas. This cookbook should be a BIG hit with the carnivore in your house.

The Big Texas Steakhouse Cookbook

Click To Buy This Book

Author: Helen Thompson and Janice Shay
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Pelican Publishing
ISBN-10: 1589808789
ISBN-13: 978-1589808782

Just in case you missed it, here are some other cookbook reviews we recently posted:

RV Cooking: The Possibilities of an Endless Road
How To Make Red Beans and Rice
A Monday Dish That’s Great Any Day
Taking Grilled Cheese To A Whole New Level