Vintner’s steak, ideal for summer or winter, requires a few good quality ingredients and attention to the cooking of the steak to arrive at a perfect meal. Choose a good red wine that will partner a quality steak. Always reduce wine for, or in, wine-based sauces or jus by half, lest the flavours of the wine remain weak with a sharp note; reduction mellows the wine.
Here in France I would use a gutsy Madiran wine, not unlike an aged syrah. Buy aged steak, about 2.5cm thick if you can and be sure to have the steak at room temperature before grilling.
- Season the steak well by rubbing both sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a heavy-based frying pan until very hot. Put about 25g of the butter in to the pan and when sizzling add the steaks. Once steaks are placed in the pan, do not move — nor prod with a fork — leaving to cook for 3 minutes.
- Turn the steaks over and cook a further 3 minutes for rare. Allow longer for a medium steak. Set the steaks aside on a warm plate to rest while making the vintner’s sauce.
- Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and cook for a few minutes over a moderate heat until softened. Add the wine, increase the heat and simmer until reduced by half.
- Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in 50g of the butter or more if you like the richness.
- Serve the steaks accompanied with a generous spoonful of sauce. Sprinkle over the herbs.
This recipe could be cooked on the solid plate of a barbecue, so long as the plate has a deep-lipped edge and the sauce will not drip out any holes. Add the wine in two bursts and turn off the hot plate before stirring the butter quickly through the shallots and wine.