Saturday, July 5, 2014

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak with Port Wine Sauce


We don't eat steak very often.  Generally it's when we want to enjoy a nice bottle of cabernet sauvignon and can't think of something to go well with it other than "steak."  I've had blue cheese crusted steak in restaurants many times and made a strip steak with a gorgonzola sauce.  But I've never attempted the crust myself.  Tonight, I was inspired.  I wanted to both enjoy some cabernet sauvignon and eat enough blue cheese to stop my heart. The crust turned out perfect!  The cheese had just the right level of softness and the panko mixed in with the cheese was crispy.  I reduced the port wine sauce a great deal so it didn't ruin the crisp of the crust. Asparagus isn't the best side dish for this steak because asparagus is the wine killer.  But hey, I love asparagus.  The side dish is irrelevant, really.  The showcase is the steak, the cheese, and the sauce.

I know my presentation is mostly always the same: meat on one side, veggie on the other, ne'er the twain shall meet.  Someday, I'll get better.  Just not tonight.  

This dish was inspired by an aggregate of my google searches about how to do a good blue cheese crust without coating my steak in an oozy, glorpy mess.  It was surprisingly easy.  A lot of the recipes I saw also said to serve with a port wine reduction.  I happen to have a bottle of the cheapest port ever and some beef broth that's been sitting in the fridge for way longer than it should have.  So basically, the ingredients that I need.  I cooked the sauce until it was almost the right consistency, turned off the heat, and waited until right before the steak was done to finish it.  For this recipe, assume the steaks are about 1.5 inches thick.  I overcooked mine slightly (it was medium rather than medium rare), so I edited this recipe to reflect less cooking time.  Add a bit more if you prefer your meat cooked more than medium rare.

Blue Cheese Crusted Steak with Port Wine Sauce
Serves 2 (but would scale pretty well)
Original recipe


2 steaks (I used Wegmans "portion perfect" grass-fed sirloin).
1 Tbsp butter
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Spanish onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup port (I used Sandeman's ruby porto)
1/2 cup beef broth (I think I used slightly less than this, I eyeballed it)
A few shakes of dried thyme (probably about 1 tsp)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup blue cheese (I used a lower-priced cheese since it's getting mixed with panko and then broiled)
1/4 cup panko


1) Preheat the oven to 350 F.  While waiting for the oven, melt the butter in a small pan.  Add the onions and cook until they're soft.  Then add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Sprinkle in the thyme and stir.  Then add the port and stir.  Cook until it's reduced by about 1/2.  Then add the beef broth and let it simmer while you make the steak.  When it's slightly more watery than you would like, turn off the heat and let it sit until the steak goes under the broiler.

2) Heat a little bit of olive oil in an oven safe pan.  Sear your steak until brown on each side, about 1 min each.  Then put the pan in the oven and cook for 15 minutes or until the steak is 145 F.  Remove the steaks from the pan and let them rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes.

3) While the steak is resting, preheat the broiler and mix the blue cheese and panko together in a bowl.

4) When the 5 minutes are up, spread the blue cheese mixture on top of the steaks.  Press it down to flatten it and make sure there is a pretty good amount of cheese on the meat.

5) Put the steak back in the pan and put it back in the oven.  Broil for about 3 minutes or until you can see the panko brown a little. While the steak is broiling, turn the heat back up on the sauce and let it reduce until it's pretty thick.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve the steak with the sauce spooned on top and around it.  Serve with a side dish.

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