By Chef Edgar Alvarez
Owner and Head Chef
Avenida Restaurant, www.avenidarestaurant.com
Mt. Airy, PA
There’s nothing quite like cutting into a buttery steak that has been cooked to perfection. It’s one of my favorite meals, and the best dish I can think of to make everyone at the dinner table very happy.
Serve it with fresh grilled asparagus, a side of fluffy mashed potatoes, and a glass of hearty red wine. Perfect!
What you’ll need:
4 8 oz. filet steaks
3T. Olive oil
4 Shallots, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4c Red wine
1/3c Peter Luger steak sauce
1. Season steaks with salt and pepper.
2. Heat saute pan with 2T oil.
3. When pan is hot, place filets in pan and sear on each side for 4 – 5 minutes.
4. Remove from pan and set aside.
5. Add 1T olive oil and saute shallots until golden brown.
6. Add red wine and reduce by half.
7. Add steak sauce, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 2 minutes.
8. Place filets back in the sauce for 5-7 minutes to finish cooking until medium rare, turning once to ensure even cooking.
9. Place filets on platter with sauce underneath.
10. Serve with homemade potato latkes.
DID YOU KNOW?
When selecting the perfect steak, look for the grade, even marbling, and a nice cut. Here’s how.
GRADE: The grade tells you about the quality of the meat based on marbling and age — which are based on the fat distribution in the meat and the age of the animal. Top of the line meat is categorized as prime, followed by choice, and select. What you usually find on the shelves at the store is choice or select.
MARBLING: If the meat is free of all fat then the cut has no or little marbling. Though this is leaner and often more tender, it is not as flavorful. Streaks of fat through the meat give it the delicious flavor. Look to balance these so your steaks cook up tender and tasty.
CUT: There are three sections of meat that make for a great steak.
1. The Rib — From the upper back and moving down to the mid-back you have the Rib, Rib Roast, the Rib-eye Steak and the Back Ribs, which are the least tender.
2. The Sirloin — Sirloin Steak and the Top Sirloin.
3. The Short Loin — T-bone, Top Loin Steak, Tenderloin and the Porterhouse.
The most tender cut is the tenderloin and options include chateaubriand, filet mignon and tournedos. These cuts tend to be less flavorful, while the rib-eye, or rib steak, is less tender but far more flavorful. The same holds true about the sirloin cut. Strip steaks, like the New York Steak, is cut from the T-bone portion.
The other stuff — The chuck, round, and flank steak come from those respective areas and tend to be tough cuts of meat.
About Chef Edgar Alavarez
Chef Edgar Alavarez grew up in Guatemala, and the thing that is etched in his memory is the scene of his grandmother, aunts and mother preparing a meal at his grandmother’s ranch outside the city. It was an all-day affair, for they were a giant family and when breakfast ended all the women in the family would go off to the market to buy the freshest produce, meat and fish for lunch and dinner. They did not have much to spend, but la comida was always full of love and flavor.
He moved to Philadelphia, PA, and in the last two decades has worked in some of the top restaurants in the city including Dock Street, the four-star restaurant The Striped Bass, and the gourmet Chinese restaurant, Susanna Foo.
In 2004, Edgar and his wife and fellow chef Kim Alvarez bought the Delaware Market House in Gladwyne, a 100-year-old establishment with a wonderful history. They closed the Market in March 2009 and soon after began working on opening a new restaurant, Avenida.
“The goal for me as head chef at this new Latin American restaurant is to bring my childhood memories to life for my kids and my customers,” Chef Edgar says. “I hope that everyone I cook for thoroughly enjoys their food, and leaves the table with a renewed zest for all that life has to offer.”
Learn more at www.avenidarestaurant.com.