Carpetbagger Steak

It’s an odd-sounding idea: a steak stuffed with oysters, served with a sauce of beef essence and more oysters. But the flavors of the two ingredients are most agreeably complimentary. The hard part of making this dish is making demi-glace, the ultimate reduction of an intense stock from roasted veal bones. If you don’t want to go to the trouble, beg a restaurant at which you’re a regular customer to sell or give you some. (You can also find demi-glace in some gourmet grocery stores now.) For four servings of this dish, you need only about a half cup of the stuff.

Two restaurants are responsible for having invented this idea: chef Roland Huet at the extinct Christian’s and Brad Hollingsworth at Clancy’s, which still has it on the menu most of the time.

Filet mignon steak on a plate with well-hidden oysters.

  • 4 filet mignons, cut from the big end of the tenderloin, 8-10 oz. each
  • 20 medium-large fresh oysters
  • 1 cup Pinot Noir or other dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup demi-glace
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbs. clarified butter

1. Salt and pepper the steaks. With a sharp paring knife, cut a slit about an inch and a half wide and most of the way through the steak.

2. Place the oysters into a stainless-steel or enamel saucepan or skillet. Pour in the wine, and bring the wine to a boil. Cook until the oysters begin to curl. Remove the oysters and continue to simmer the wine until it’s reduced to about three fluid ounces.

3. Stuff one of the oysters into each of the steaks.

4. Lower the heat. Stir in the demi-glace and return to a simmer. Whisk in the butter, one pat at a time. Add salt and pepper. Keep warm.

5. Cook the steaks in a hot skillet with a little clarified butter, adding more as necessary to sear the outside of the steaks. Cook to the desired degree of doneness. Place on a serving plate. Surround the steak with four oysters. Nap the sauce over the steak and the oysters. Serve hot.

Serves four.

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  1. Mike McCracken on February 4, 2014

    A variant of this dish starts with a flank steak. From a short end create a pocket in the flank steak that runs almost to the other end. When done you should have a soft baseball glove.

    Follow the recipe above, and consider adding some mushrooms as well in to the stuffing. To serve, slice across the flank steak every 2-3 inches.