Sunday, December 28, 2008
What to do with that Omaha Steaks X-Mas Gift- Beef Bourguignon Shepard's Pie
Every year like clockwork a member of my extended family sends me an Omaha Steaks gift package for Christmas. I always appreciate the sentiment and some of the stuff that you get is actually pretty good, but me and the wife are not big "steak dinner" eaters. Usually the stuffed potatoes and the cheese cake get eaten fairly quickly. However, the steaks often languish in the freezer until forgotten. This year I decided to try to create a dish out of the gift package I received that would lead to all the components being consumed in one shot. I came up with a kind of a Beef Bourguignon/Shepard's Pie thing that was pretty tasty.
The components of the package I received were 4 tenderloin steaks, 4 bacon/cheese stuffed potatoes, 2 dishes of "roasted vegetables", and a large cheese cake sampler.
The cheesecake sampler was actually of very impressive proportions.
I decided that I could make a nice stew out of the beef and vegetables with the minimal addition of some bacon, onion, garlic, red wine and stock. I thought by dissecting the potatoes I could make a tasty potato topping and the whole thing would be kind of like a Shepard's Pie.
I started by sautéing up some bacon.
When this was good and crisp I removed it with a slotted spoon. I threw in the beef, which I seasoned and dredged in whole wheat flour, and browned it well.
When the beef was done I removed it and tossed in some onion and garlic. After that cooked for a little while, in went the "roasted vegetable" packs.
The veg packs were a mixture of cauliflower, peppers, snow peas, carrots, and some sort of weird goo that I took to be herbed butter. I removed the snow peas because I really hate them, a holdover from childhood. When the veg got some color I threw the beef back in.
In went a couple spoons of tomato paste, a couple cups of red wine, and the bacon bits. I let this reduce a little, transferred the mixture to a baking dish, added some stock, and threw it covered into a 250 degree oven for 2 hours.
The pseudo-beef bourguignon came out looking pretty solid. I tasted it for seasoning and it was really pretty good. My next step was to slice the stuffed potatoes lengthwise into segments and place them on top of the stew. There was not quite enough to cover the whole surface, but I think it actually looked kind of good. I put the whole thing back in the oven at 400 for about 25 minutes to cook and brown the potato topping.
Verdict: I brought this over to my friend K8's for a dinner party she was having. People seemed to like the dish and most of it got consumed. All in all, I thought this was an excellent way to use up an Omaha Steaks gift package. The large amount of food did not take up space in my freezer for months and not much went to waste. I don't know what Omaha does to their steaks, I have my suspicions that they have some sort of chemical "tenderization" process that they inflict on the meat. This combined with being frozen lends to the meat an almost unsettlingly tender mouth feel when cooked as an intact steak. I thought this characteristic actually lent itself to a stew recipe. I was happy to share this with friends and glad that the dish did not suck.