One of Wayne’s co-workers gave him a couple of crab legs which we enjoyed the other night. (Super easy to prepare – just drop in boiling water for a few minutes. Not so easy to eat, but even though we made quite a mess, we enjoyed our treat.)

After eating all we wanted, there was about 1/2 cup of crab meat leftover and when brainstorming ways to use it up, Steak Oscar came to mind. I researched the recipe and learned that I would need asparagus to make an authentic Steak Oscar (some versions called for asparagus under the steak, others on top of it). However, since we thought it would make a great Sunday meal, and since we didn’t want to make a special trip to the grocery store, I decided to serve broccoli (which we had) on the side. Hence the name change.

The first step in either Steak Orson or Steak Oscar is to make a Bearnaise Sauce. After looking at a few different recipes, this is the version I created. It received two thumbs up from Wayne, which is high praise indeed. Note that many of the recipes I saw called themselves “easy” and used a blender. However, I realized this is very similar to Hollandaise Sauce (really the only difference is using vinegar instead of lemon juice and adding a few herbs), and since I’ve perfected that recipe, I just used the same method with this sauce.

Bearnaise Sauce

1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot (or onion)
1 1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1 bay leaf
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into 1 tablespoon-sized chunks
2 tablespoons heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Combine vinegar, shallot, tarragon, parsley and bay leaf in a small pan. Bring to a boil and cook until liquid is reduced to about 1 tablespoon. (I expected this to take much longer than it actually did.) Strain and set the infused vinegar aside to cool; this needs to be long enough so that when you mix it with the egg yolks in the next step they’re not cooked immediately.

Combine vinegar and egg yolks and mix well. Melt about half the butter in the top of a double-boiler. Stir in the vinegar mixture and then the remaining butter pieces, whisking the entire time. You may need to remove from the pan from the heat so that it doesn’t curdle. Once the butter is melted, stir in the cream. Salt and pepper to taste, and maybe even add a bit more tarragon and/or parsley if desired.

Cook the steak as desired. (The majority of the websites I checked used filet mignon as the base for Steak Oscar, and since we had some in the freezer, that’s what I used. You can find my directions for cooking that cut of meat here.)

Top the cooked steak with some crab meat and then the Bearnaise Sauce. Sprinkle with paprika, if desired, and serve.

Wayne decided if a little Bearnaise Sauce was delicious, a lot would be even better.

Later that week we had dinner with friends at our favorite steak house. I decided to order Steak Oscar and compare it with what I had just made. Both of them were quite delicious, although it was difficult to remember enough to decide which was better.

The photo on the upper right is their Black and White special which I had the first time I went there. It’s a butterflied filet mignon topped with shrimp and Bearnaise Sauce on a puddle of demi-glace sauce. Absolutely delicious!