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Pepper-Seared "Porter" Steaks
with Melted Leeks



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La Belle Cuisine


Pepper-Seared “Porter” Steak
with Melted Leeks

Great American Food icon

by Charlie Palmer with Judith Choate,
1996, Random House, Inc.


Serves 6

“A hearty red meat for a really hungry crowd. The rich, dark-brown flavor of
the porter permeates the steak (and gives a double meaning to the word sauce).
The strip steak is a porterhouse minus the bone and tenderloin. Make sure that
the butcher cuts the steaks at least 1 1/2 inches thick. If they are too thin, they
will quickly overcook and be tasteless.”

3 shallots
1 medium carrot
8 button mushrooms
3 tablespoons corn oil
8 peppercorns
1 tablespoon honey
2 1/4 cups Porter, dark beer,
or amber ale
8 cups veal stock
Coarse salt
1 bunch fresh Italian
[flat-leaf] parsley
6 medium leeks
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup diced onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Six 10-ounce, 1 1/2-inch-thick sirloin
strip steaks, trimmed of all fat
6 tablespoons cracked black pepper

Peel and slice shallots and carrot. Wipe mushrooms clean of any debris
and slice lengthwise.
Heat 1 tablespoon of corn oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add
the shallots, carrot, mushrooms, and peppercorns. Sauté about 6 minutes,
or until vegetables are lightly browned. Stir in the honey and sauté for 3
minutes, or until vegetables are caramelized. Add the porter and simmer
until liquid is reduced by two-thirds. Add veal stock and simmer, stirring
and skimming occasionally, for about 1 hour, or until the liquid is reduced
to 2 1/2 cups. Remove from heat and strain through a fine sieve into a
small saucepan, discarding solids. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cover and set aside.
Wash and dry the parsley.  Set aside.
Trim off the green parts from the leeks. Split them in half lengthwise,
down to but not through the root ends. Holding the leeks together, rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove all grit. Pat dry. Place
in a medium saucepan and add chicken stock, 2 tablespoons of butter,
parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer over medium
heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until leeks are meltingly
soft. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add remaining 2 table-
spoons of corn oil. When hot, add onion and cook for about 10 minutes,
or until translucent and slightly caramelized. Stir in thyme and salt and
pepper to taste. Remove from heat and keep warm.
Return the sauce to low heat.
Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Set aside.
Place a large cast-iron skillet on a cold burner. Add the remaining 3 table- spoons butter and turn on heat to low. When the butter has melted, raise
heat to high.
Season steaks with salt and press cracked pepper into both sides. Place in
the hot pan and sear for 6 to 8 minutes, or until a nice crust forms. Turn
and sear for 4 minutes for medium-rare. Remove to prepared baking sheet
and let rest for 2 minutes.
Raise heat under the sauce. Add reserved onion and bring to a boil.
Place a steak in the center of each of 6 warm plates. Spoon equal potions
of onion sauce over the top. Crisscross two leeks on top of each steak,
allowing some of the leek broth to mingle with the onion sauce. Serve immediately.

Suggested Ale:  A dark amber ale, such as Samuel Adams

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