Roasted garlic, bacon lend steaks robust flavor

October 07, 2001|By Betty Rosbottom | Betty Rosbottom,Special to the Sun

Last weekend, neighbors who love to cook came over and together we assembled a delicious yet simple menu. As a main course, I suggested grilled filet steaks topped with pats of flavorful roasted garlic butter and side dishes of homemade coleslaw, corn and sliced tomatoes topped with goat cheese and herbs. Appetizers included easy, store-bought offerings: bowls of imported green and black olives and of roasted almonds. Dessert was a plum tart garnished with scoops of vanilla ice cream.

The grilled steaks were the piece de resistance of the evening and were uncomplicated to prepare. It was the roasted garlic butter, however, that made the dish so tasty. We roasted whole cloves of garlic in olive oil until soft and golden, then pureed them with butter and added chopped fresh chives. My husband fired up the grill and carefully watched over the filets until they were lightly charred on the outside and rosy-hued inside.

Bacon-Wrapped Filet Steaks Topped With Roasted Garlic Butter

Makes 4 servings

12 large garlic cloves, peeled

1 / 4 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks

Kosher salt

3 1/2 teaspoons chopped chives

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

Four 6- to 7-ounce filet steaks, about 1 inch thick

4 very thin slices of lean bacon

6-inch wooden skewers or toothpicks, soaked in water 10 minutes and patted dry

Place peeled garlic and olive oil in 1-cup, oven-proof ramekin, souffle dish or custard cup. Cover dish tightly with aluminum foil and place in oven. Roast at 400 degrees on center rack until garlic is golden and very tender and soft when pierced with knife, about 30 minutes (start checking cloves after 20 minutes and then every 5 minutes until done).

With slotted spoon, remove garlic from bowl and reserve oil. Place garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the reserved oil, butter and 1 / 8 teaspoon salt in food processor or blender and process, pulsing machine on and off for 30 seconds or less until garlic is coarsely chopped and blended with butter and oil. Transfer garlic butter to small bowl and stir in 2 teaspoons of the chives. (Garlic butter can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature 30 minutes before ready to use.)

When ready to cook steaks, oil a grill rack and prepare grill. In small bowl, stir together 1 teaspoon kosher salt, coarsely ground black pepper and thyme. Rub both sides of each filet with some of this seasoning. Then wrap each steak around its sides with 1 slice of bacon. Skewer bacon in place with wooden skewer or with 2 to 3 toothpicks.

Grill steaks until lightly charred on the outside and until bacon is cooked, about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Time will vary depending on type of grill used and intensity of heat. Watch carefully.

When done, remove steaks from fire and place on warm serving plate. Remove toothpicks. Top each steak with 1 generous pat of roasted garlic butter and sprinkle with some of remaining chives. Butter will start to melt and season the steaks. Serve immediately.

Betty Rosbottom writes for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate.

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