23 April 2013

Blue Cheese Crusted Filet of Beef with Spring Mushroom Orzo Risotto

Blue Cheese Crusted Filet of Beef with Spring Mushroom Orzo Risotto
Steak and blue cheese are a perfect match—the rich funkiness of the cheese intensifies the big beefiness of the steak. Mixed with bread crumbs and herbs, blue cheese forms a crunchy, melty crust on top of beef, which may sound rich but ultimately contributes only about 40 calories to the dish.

King Cole blue cheese from Upper Bench Winery is an excellent choice. You could even add pecans or walnuts to this versatile topping. Just keep the ratio about ½ breadcrumbs and ½ other stuff.  Plus enough oil to hold it together. This mixture is finished on top of the steaks and you get a crunchy, cheesy topping which I think is a great contrast to the very tender steak. Next time I will make the topping a little thinner but I didn't want to waste a drop.

I served it with a risotto twin made with tiny, rice-shaped orzo pasta instead of rice. Orzo absorbs liquid and flavour much like rice, but unlike traditional risotto, this recipe doesn't need to be stirred obsessively for a perfectly al dente, creamy result. I had early Spring morel mushrooms in mind but had to settle what was available. Blue cheese, earthy mushrooms, tender stalks of asparagus with a light touch of butter, and a glass of Sveigelt and I don't think it can any better than this.

**Blue Cheese Crusted Filet of Beef**

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs or panko
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese ( I used Upper Bench Winery King Blue)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary or thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground pepper and salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 sirloin or tenderloin steaks (4-6 oz each)
Salt and black pepper to taste

Allow the steaks to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to equalize the internal temperature for more even cooking. 

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Preheat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.

In a small bowl combine the bread crumbs, blue cheese, parsley, and rosemary or thyme, and a splash of olive oil in a mixing bowl and set aside.

Season the filets well with salt and pepper and rub them with vegetable oil. Carefully position them in the hot pan and sear for a minute or so on each side, leaving the interiors raw and cool. Do not move them for about 90 seconds, in order to ensure a nice crust. Using tongs, carefully brown all sides of the steak, each time allowing the crust to form before disturbing the steaks. Because the meat will be protected by a crust and will finish cooking in a relatively cool oven, this is your only chance to add caramelized flavour to the meat. 

Brush steaks on top with a thin coat of mustard to allow the bread crumb topping to adhere. Top each with a quarter of the bread crumb mixture, using your fingers to gently press it into the meat. Transfer the steaks to the oven to finish cooking (ideally in the pan if it's oven-proof, but if not, a baking sheet or dish will do). The steaks should be done in 5 to 6 minutes, when they feel firm but still springy to the touch (an internal thermometer should read 135°F for medium-rare -140 °F for medium. This should happen at the same time that the bread crumbs have browned nicely and formed a crust. Let the steaks rest for a few minutes before serving. Watch carefully, they will burn quickly.  Check after 2 minutes; my steaks took about 3 minutes to get the topping brown and bubbly.

330 calories, 17 g fat (6 g saturated), 600 mg sodium

**Spring Mushroom Orzo Risotto**

3 tablespoons butter
12 ounces sliced or diced mushrooms (morels if possible)
3/4 cup chopped shallots or onion
2 cups dried orzo pasta
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup dry sherry or white wine
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Chopped parsley

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 12-inch frying pan over high heat. Add 12 ounces sliced mushrooms and 3/4 cup chopped shallots or onion; cook, stirring often, until mushrooms are lightly browned, 9 to 12 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium and add 2 more tablespoons butter and 2 cups dried orzo pasta; stir often until pasta is light golden, about 2 minutes. Add white wine and allow to reduce minimally.

Add 3 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until pasta is tender to bite and most of the liquid is absorbed, 9 to 11 minutes. If mixture becomes too thick before pasta is done, add a little more broth.

Stir in 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste. Spoon risotto into wide bowls and sprinkle with a little chopped parsley and more parmesan cheese to taste.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. I have to forward this to my son-in-law..right up his alley..Wow..how decadent!

  2. This is one perfect plate! I'm copying it for our dining pleasure.


  3. Beautiful and flavorful! What a wonderful way of preparing filet mignon.



  4. The colors alone on this plate are soooo inviting! Blue cheese and steak, though? Ay-ay-yah! The best!

  5. Are you kidding me? I am now officially STARVING! This is the best look steak I've ever seen, Val.

  6. That's the only way to eat a nice cut of beef: blue cheese.
    I'm off carbs, BUT that stuffing looks good!

  7. Perfectly cooked. Love the idea of the blue cheese and bread crumb topping.

  8. Oh my, this looks fabulous. I make steak quite often with a compound blue cheese butter but this beats it all!

  9. Lovely!!! This is the perfect dinner in my way of thinking---definitely "more than burnt toast!" It is great that the calorie count is not so bad too. I'm printing both right now and thanks for the recipes!!!

  10. Blue cheese and beef have to be the perfect flavor pairing. This one looks delicious!

  11. That is one gorgeous meal! Looks restaurant-worthy!

  12. Me parece un plato delicioso y en su punto perfecto, así da gusto!

  13. Red white and blue cheese magic. GREG

  14. You can have my pasta and I'll be happy to have this beef and blue cheese beauty! I have always loved this combination, but being encrusted with the blue cheese is sinful! Just the way I like it!

  15. I adore cheese crusted meats. I've never had blue cheese crusted meat, but I love blue cheese burgers.

  16. Dear Valli, thanks for your comment in my blog concerning Italy :D. Your Steak looks delicious!!! I'm ready fork and knife in my hands... just wishing we were neighbors! Have a great day dear.

  17. I remember May being morel month in Michigan. We would go searching in one special spot, under apple trees, on the Canadian side of the St. Clair River. My mother would lightly coat them in flour and fry them in butter!
    What I wouldn't give to have some of those right now. Love the way you used orzo rather than rice. Delicious dish altogether, Val.

  18. Beef and blue cheese are such a wonderful pairing of flavors...you created a lovely dish.

  19. what a glorious pile of flavors and textures atop that beef! this is fantastic, val!

  20. Right are so right about blue cheese and steak being such a perfect match! I was drooling over a similar recipe a friend forwarded to me recently.

    What a beautiful meal worthy of a special occasion!

  21. I'd say that this steak is cooked to perfection. The whole menu looks absolutely swoon worthy.


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