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There are several theories about the origins of this classic stuffed steak recipe. One is that it was created in the 1930s by the renowned chef Louis Diat at the New York Ritz Hotel. Another school of thought claims its provenance was much earlier and on the other side of the country - a dish that was served in San Francisco during the days of the Gold Rush in the mid-1800s. Yet another hypothesis suggests it is an Australian invention, if only because it is a very popular steak dish "down under." Whatever its origins, because of the pocket formed in the steak to hold to the oyster stuffing, it is named after the type of luggage popular in the last century. This recipe is an ideal (and unusual) way to enjoy "surf 'n'turf." If you find it easier, or if it's during the summer and there's no "r" in the month (the traditional test of oyster seasonality), use canned oysters; and for a different flavor twist, grill the steaks over aromatic wood chips, such as mesquite, hickory, or pecan.
- For Vinaigrette:
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For Salad:
- 8 baby artichokes, outer leaves trimmed off
- 1 lemon, cut in half
- 6 small Red Bliss, Yukon Gold, or White Chef's potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 2 cups arugula
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For Steaks:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- 8 freshly shucked oysters, liquor reserved
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 4 filet mignon steaks, about 8 ounces each
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
FOR VINAIGRETTE: Combine all the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
FOR SALAD: Rub the trimmed artichokes with the lemon halves to prevent discoloration. Combine the artichokes and potatoes in a steamer or in a steamer basket set over a saucepan of boiling water. Steam for about 8 minutes, or until fork tender. Just before you are ready to serve, transfer the cooked vegetables to a mixing bowl and toss with half the vinaigrette while still warm. In a separate mixing bowl, toss the arugula with the remaining half of the vinaigrette. Combine and gently toss the vegetables and arugula together, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
FOR STEAKS: Preheat the broiler. Melt the butter in a small saute pan or skillet and saute the shallots over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the oysters and saute over medium heat for about 1 minute, just until the edges begin to curl. Deglaze the pan with the reserved oyster liquor. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool. Sprinkle in the parsley.
Cut a slit in the side of the filets with a sharp knife and slice horizontally across the steak to form a pocket; be careful not to cut through the steak. Stuff 2 oysters inside each filet and divide the rest of the oyster mixture among the pockets. Season the steaks with the salt and pepper, and secure the pocket with a skewer or toothpick if necessary.
Broil the steaks for 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare or about 7 minutes per side for medium. Transfer to plates, remove the skewers or toothpicks, and serve with the salad.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
1191 calories; 79g total fat; 224mg cholesterol; 606mg sodium; 53g carbohydrates; 12g fiber; 71g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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