Chef César Zapata – The Federal Food, Drink & Provisions
Ingredients – Steak:
2 lb beef tenderloin in one piece
3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ c brandy
½ c beef stock
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp mustard
1 tsp tomato paste
½ c heavy cream
1 tbsp green peppercorns in brine
¼ c herbs, minced (basil, parsley, chives, chervil)
1 rosemary sprig
1 sprig thyme
César’s Cheesy Grits:
2¼ c whole milk
1 c stone ground (not instant!) grits, Anson Mills highly recommended
¼ c butter
¼ c Jack cheese (shredded)
¼ c Cotija cheese (crumbled)
1 tsp Creole seasoning
salt to taste
Brown Butter Radish:
12 radishes, cut in half length-wise (Easter radish, French radish or regular red radish)
3 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp mixed herbs, minced (chives, chervil, parsley)
1 lemon, zest only
Method – Grits:
Bring the milk to a boil. Slowly stir the grits into the boiling mixture. Stir continuously and thoroughly until grits are well mixed. Let the pot return to a simmer, cover with a lid, lower the temperature, and cook for approximately 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more liquid if necessary. Grits are done when they are smooth and creamy.
Stir in the butter and the rest of the ingredients until all ingredients have melted and incorporated. Season to taste and keep warm until you plate the beef.
Brown Butter Radish:
In a sauté pan, heat the butter until it turns brown and has a nutty smell. Add the radish and sauté for 1 minute. Add the herbs.
Finish with lemon zest.
Best if made just before serving, but it can be made 2 hours in advance and warmed before serving.
Season the beef with salt and pepper.
Heat the butter in a sauté pan over medium-high heat for about 1 minute. Pat the beef dry with a paper towel and cook it on all sides.
Turn the heat to medium so the butter doesn’t scorch and add rosemary, thyme and 1 tablespoon olive oil and baste. It should take about 8-10 minutes or so to get a nice, brown crust on the beef without overcooking the center. Remove the beef, tent loosely with foil and set aside.
Add the shallots to the sauté pan and cook for 1 minute, then add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Don’t let the garlic burn.
Deglaze the pan with the brandy, scraping off any stuck-on bits in the pan with a wooden spoon. Let the brandy cook down almost to a glaze, then add the beef stock, tomato paste, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine.
Turn up the heat to medium-high and let this boil down until a wooden spoon dragged across the pan leaves a trail behind it that does not fill in for a second or two. This should take about 3 minutes.
Turn off the heat and stir in the cream and the peppercorns until the sauce is light brown. Don’t let the sauce boil again or it could break.
Slice the beef into medallions. If you find you have not cooked it enough, let the meat swim in the sauce for a few moments to heat through. Pour some sauce on a plate and top with the meat. Garnish with some herbs.
Add a scoop of the cheesy grits and a spoon of brown-butter radishes.