Thursday, May 12, 2011

Filet Redux

It was Matt's birthday yesterday, so for dinner I made Dorie's Bistro Paul Bert steak again. This time, I followed the variation in the sidebar, meaning that I seasoned the meat with salt and pepper instead of crusting it in peppercorns, and the sauce was a garlic, shallot, and red wine reduction instead of the brandy and heavy cream. The filets must have been thicker this time than last, because they were still raw after I took them off the heat, tented them in foil, and allowed them to sit while I made the sauce. I like my meat rare, but this was still cold in the middle. I threw them in the oven for a few minutes, and that took care of it. The sauce was pretty unnoticeable. It wasn't bad, but it didn't contribute much flavor. I'm not sure if I should consider this a new recipe, in terms of my tally. I don't think so.

I baked Matt a birthday pie from David Lebovitz's Ready For Dessert. I'm trying to figure out how to work this cookbook into my little project here. It's all dessert, obviously. I refuse to devote myself to it for two months, because I'd rather not gain 800 pounds. This book is gorgeous. The photography, his personal stories, and the variety of desserts all make it fun to flip through. However, the handful of recipes I've tried so far have produced totally unreliable results, which sort of makes it a perfect cookbook for this project. Does it, or does it not, deserve space on my shelf? I don't know. For the sake of my waistline, I think I'll just bake a recipe from this book now and then, without confining myself to a timetable, until I decide if it's a keeper.

To that end, here are my thoughts on Lebovitz's Mixed Berry Pie (pg 80). This filling came together in no time, because you don't need to putz around with blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries. Just wash them and throw them in a bowl. The only element that involved the slightest bit of labor was slicing up two cups of strawberries. Mix this with sugar, lemon juice, and corn starch, assemble your pie, and bake. Easy.

This was one soupy pie. The bottom crust basically dissolved during the hours that the pie sat on the counter. I've never seen anything like it. The directions say to bake for 50-60 minutes, until the "juices are thick and bubbling." I baked it for 60 minutes, but maybe that wasn't long enough for the juices to thicken. I didn't see much bubbling action going on, but I was in a frenzied rush (I'd deposited Charlie in the living room and raced back to the kitchen to get the pie out of the oven before he caught me), so I figured that the juices that had pooled on the top crust were a good enough indication that it was bubbling. I thought it would thicken as it cooled. It didn't.
I could take a delicious bath in this pie.
Conclusion: Liked it, but it's not perfect as-is. If I made this again, I would add less sugar, more corn starch, and try to figure out some other way to cut the sweetness. Rhubarb, maybe? Matt was very happy with his birthday pie, and as you can see, we did some major damage to it.


  1. Great looking dinner despite the sauce not really living up to its potential.

  2. Aw...I know I read this post before. Darn you, Blogspot! I think I said that both your steak and pie look great and that I'm glad you gave the steak another shot even though the sauce didn't live up to its potential.