1 small dried red chile (such as chile de arbol or cayenne) or 8 black peppercorns
1 1/2 cups olive oil
12 baby artichokes, outer leaves trimmed off
1 lemon, cut in half
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, sliced
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and sliced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup cooked orzo pasta
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon sliced fresh basil
4 filet mignon steaks, 7 or 8 ounces each Omaha Steaks
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
4 lemon wedges, for garnish
4 thick slices French bread, cut on a diagonal (optional)
Place all the garlic confit ingredients in a small saucepan.
Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook gently for 1 hour. Let cool.
When cool, remove the rosemary and chile, and discard.
Transfer the garlic and oil to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
Prepare the grill. (Or, alternatively, the steaks can be broiled or sautéed in a heavy pan or skillet using 1 tablespoon of hot olive oil or safflower oil. They will take approximately the same time to cook as they will on the grill.)
Rub the trimmed artichokes with the lemon halves to prevent discoloration.
Place in a steamer or steamer basket set over a saucepan of boiling water and steam for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender.
Let cool slightly and cut into quarters.
Heat the oil in a sauté pan.
Add the onion and sauté over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion has turned translucent and is just beginning to brown at the edges.
Lower the heat to medium-high, add the artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes, and sauté 1 minute longer.
Stir in the vinegar and stock, and bring the mixture to a simmer.
Stir in the cooked orzo and heat through for about 1 minute.
Season the ragout with salt and pepper, and cover to keep warm.
Stir in the basil just before serving.
Season each filet with salt and pepper, and rub with the garlic confit.
Place on the medium-hot grill and grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare or about 8 minutes per side for medium.
Spoon a large mound of the ragout on each warm serving plate and sprinkle the grated cheese over the top, if desired.
Place the steaks on top of the ragout.
Garnish each serving with a lemon wedge and a slice of bread spread with some of the remaining garlic confit, if desired, and serve immediately.
Gilroy is to garlic as Yankee Stadium is to baseball or Terlingua, Texas, is to chili: It is the self-proclaimed garlic capital of the world. Every summer the community of Gilroy, which lies some eighty miles south of San Francisco and forty miles east of Santa Cruz in northern California, holds a huge garlic festival. If you happen to be a garlic lover and relish such delicacies as garlic soup and garlic ice cream, this is one event you won't want to miss! Here we offer a confit of garlic. This classic French technique was originally a means of preserving meats, especially goose or duck, by rendering them slowly and storing them in their own fat. Since garlic has no fat, we help it along with olive oil. The resulting smooth and deliciously flavored puree can also be used to spread on bread for crostini, for making flavored croutons, or as a sandwich spread. Orzo is small, grain-sized pasta (the word means "barley" in Italian).
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