I made pan seared steaks with blackberry Merlot reduction, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted asparagus, artichokes, and raspberry vanilla bean cream brulee for Love Day. Natalie taught me how to make steaks in a fry pan like this and I prefer them to cooking steaks on the barbecue because they are much more tender and it is easier to control the desired doneness of the meat. The blackberry Merlot sauce has been a family favorite for many years. I remember having it for Valentine's Day when I lived at home. I usually use filet Mignon, but have found that good quality top sirloins are more inexpensive and the added fat actually adds a lot of flavor. It was a hit with the husband!
2 top sirloin filets, about 1/2 pound each
4 sprigs of rosemary, stemmed
1/2 stick of butter
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
salt and pepper
Blackberry Merlot Reduction
2 T minced shallots
2 t minced garlic
2 oz seedless blackberry jam
1 cup good Merlot- I used 05 Meridian
1 cup beef broth
1 bunch of petite asparagus rinsed and ends trimmed off
3 T olive oil
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, stemmed
3 T store bought crumbled Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
4-5 small Yukon gold potatoes rinsed and chopped with skin on
1 head of garlic
2 T fresh Italian parsley
1 cup half and half
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the end off a head of garlic and wrap in foil. Place in hot oven for about 20 minutes. Boil medium pan full of water. Add potatoes and cook until you can easily pierce with a fork, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with foil, spread asparagus over baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, Parmesan cheese, thyme, salt and pepper, set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together chopped shallots, garlic, jam, Merlot, and beef broth. Bring to a rolling boil and let reduce about 2o minutes until sauce will coat a spoon.
In large fry pan that has sides, slowly heat 1/2 stick of butter, rosemary, and chopped garlic together. Do not let butter burn. Dust top sirloin with salt and cracked pepper, press into sides so it sticks to the meat. When garlic is cooked through and begins to sizzle, add the steaks to the fry pan. Cook about 4 minutes on each side, rotating pan so outer layer browns, but does not burn.
Take seared steaks out of the fry pan and place in a glass baking dish. Pour remaining butter garlic and rosemary mixture over the top. Put a meat thermometer in the center of one of the filets. Put filets and asparagus in the oven about 12 minutes. Cook steaks to 150 degrees in the center (for medium rare).
While steaks and asparagus are finishing in the oven, drain the potatoes and bring back to pan on the stove. Squeeze roasted garlic out of the skins into the potato pan along with 1/4 stick of butter. Mash with a potato masher until blended. Heat half and half in a Pyrex measuring cup in the microwave. Slowly add heated half and half, salt, pepper, and chopped Italian parsley to pot. Whip with potato masher until desired texture is achieved.
Remove steaks and asparagus from oven and plate, plate potatoes, top steaks with blackberry merlot reduction. We enjoyed our dinner with an excellent bottle of Laetitia Vineyards 2006 Pinot Noir Reserve. It was fantastic!