We didn't do anything for my birthday this year because I had two overnight cooking events back to back. First I did a full BBQ spread for a co-worker's wedding shower at work and then left straight from there to cook at the Jim Beam Classic BBQ contest in Springfield, KY. When I got home, Alexis surprised me with a nice pair of Certified Angus Beef filet - because, surprise surprise, I like to grill for my birthday, Father's day, and the like.
Bearnaise sauce is a personal favorite for beef filet but being worn out from days of cooking, I didn't feel like doing all of that whisking. Instead I made a "bearnaise-ish" compound butter using some fresh tarragon and garlic instead of shallot. Tarragon has a strong presence so it's best to use it sparingly and to add it at the end of the cooking process, perfect for a compound butter.
CAB filet, baked potato, and brown butter carrots - simple and tasty.
You can just use regular black pepper but I like the flavor that the smoked black pepper adds. We often cold smoke whole peppercorns ourselves. It just takes a few hours and the whole peppercorns hold the smoke pretty well in storage. When you grind them fresh, it gives a nice smoky kick.
Mash together the butter, minced garlic, tarragon, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spoon this onto a sheet of wax paper and form into a log. Refrigerate for at least and hour before serving.
Set up your grill for direct heat and preheat your grill to 450°f.
Lightly oil the steaks with a high temperature oil, such as; canola or peanut oil, and season liberally on both sides.
Grill the steaks about 4 1/2 to 5 minutes per side to an internal temperature of 125-130°f for medium rare.
Remove the steaks from the grill and immediately top with 1-2 slices of the compound butter. The carry-over cooking will melt the butter and bring the internal temperature up about 5 more degrees for a perfect medium rare.
Serve quickly while the butter is still melting.
Yield: 4 servings
Before grilling the steaks, I used the Grill Dome to bake the potatoes at 450°f for about an hour and then switched to direct heat for the steaks. That indirect piece is a cast iron plate setter from Innovations by Chance. I thought about just flipping it and cooking the steaks on the griddle side - that works well too.
While the steaks came off and rested, I finished the carrots in the brown butter and then tossed in some brown sugar, salt, and pepper at the last minute.
Tip: Take your compound butter back out of the fridge a bit before using so it melts easier.
Nicely done without a reverse sear.
Here are a few shots from the wedding shower that I cooked overnight on Thursday. I had everything cooked (except the burgers and dogs) and transported it all in Cambro's to the office. I sliced the brisket and pulled the pork there. That keeps it warmer and retains the juices better than if I sliced/pulled it at home which starts it drying out.
Just did this on the computer, printed it out and Alexis decoupaged it onto a canvas frame.
Set up buffet style - excuse my blurry phone picture - I was in a hurry.
Here's how I did my "bbq sauce bar". I got the little chalk clothes pins at AC Moore for something like 8 pieces for $3.
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