Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bacon-Wrapped Filets and Beet Stacks

I am cooking for one tonight and decided to be a little decadent to reward myself for playing single mom all weekend. Scale the steak and bacon up to whatever quantity you need. The beet stacks are also individual and can be scaled, as needed. If you've never tried beets, give them a go. My mom never served us beets growing up, but my husband's family is British. He was introduced to beets at an early age and convinced me long ago to give them a try. Well, I had been missing out! This nutrient-rich root vegetable is delicious. All it really needs is salt and pepper and maybe a little balsamic drizzle. I also love it with citrus. Since I was treating myself, I decided to create a salad stack. Once the stack is served, you just cut it up and eat it like a regular salad. It's a nice presentations when you have guests and can be stacked in advance and finished off with the vinegar and walnuts just before serving.

1 filet of beef
1 long slice of uncooked nitrate-free bacon
1 cooked beet (see below for instructions), sliced across the grain in 1/4-inch slices
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
good quality balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp toasted walnuts
1-2 thin slices red onion, quartered
6-8 large fresh basil leaves, sliced in thin ribbons or "chiffonade," as described on
1/2 orange, peeled, seeded, segmented, and roughly chopped
mixed greens

How to Cook Beets
I have tried both boiling and roasting beets and I prefer the boiling method. I don't find that roasting them adds any more flavor and it's a little more work. So here's what I do to cook my beets:
  1. Rinse the dirt from the beets and trim the greens, leaving about 2 inches of the stem attached. Reserve the greens for another use, if you'd like, or discard/compost them. I have mixed them in kale recipes and used them like spinach.
  2. Set the beets in a medium-to-large pot and add enough water to cover the tops about one inch.
  3. Boil the water and beets for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. Do not over-boil the beets; they should still be firm, but cooked through. Test them by inserting a fork into the side. If it goes in easily, they are done. 
  4. Set the pan in the sink and run cold water over the beets. Let them cool for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Hold each cooled beet in your hands and rub the skin and stem off. It should come off very easily.

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  2. Wrap one slice of bacon around edge of your filet, securing ends with a toothpick if bacon is too short to overlap.
  3. Season flat sides of steak with salt and pepper.
  4. To cook, first sear bacon-wrapped sides by slowly rolling the fillet along the grill grate. Turn onto the flat sides and continue cooking, flipping once, until medium rare or your desired degree of doneness.
  5. To prepare beet stack, set the ends of the beet aside for another use (or snack on them while you're cooking).
  6. Place one beet slice on the plate. Top with a 1/4 slice of red onion, 2-3 pieces of chopped orange, and a little basil.
  7. Carefully place the next slice of beet on top, gently press, and repeat the process until all of the beet slices are in place and the final layer is topped with onion, orange, and basil.
  8. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
  9. To serve, put a bed of mixed greens on the plate alongside the beet stack. Place filet on top. Once served, topple the beets and cut as you would a regular salad.

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