There are lots of amazing steaks to be had from a steer. Unfortunately, most commodity butchers are unwilling to take the time to acquire this cut. Luckily, Farm Field Table has your back. Pound for pound, these cuts are more flavorful, interesting, and often just as tender as the “prime” steaks for a much better price. The Merlot Cut is one perfect example of this.
1 Merlot Steak, coated in Coarse Cracked Pepper & Salt. (to your desire)
1/2 Shallot, Minced
1 t Maple Syrup
1 T Bourbon or Brandy
2 T Demi Glacé
1 sprig Thyme, Fresh
1 t Butter, Cold
Salt to taste
Season the steak liberally with salt then heavily coat with cracked peppercorns. Let the steak come to room temperature.
Preheat a skillet or cast iron pan until very hot. I prefer to use a tablespoon of lard or other rendered animal fat to sauté, but any high smoke point cooking oil will do the trick. Sear the steak on each side until deeply browned. The trick here is to be patient. Do not try to move the steak around after you place it in the pan. Just leave it there for three minutes or so, then flip and repeat on the other side. Remove the steak and set aside on a plate to rest. In the same pan (with the heat on medium), sauté the shallots until they show the first signs of browning. Deglaze with the bourbon or brandy, then add the syrup, demi, and thyme. If you prefer your steak a little more well done, you can turn the heat down at this point and add the steak back into the pan to finish cooking. Please be advised, this is a steak best served medium rare-medium. Trust me here, you do not want it well done. When you’ve achieved your desired temperature, remove the steak, kill the heat, and quickly stir in the butter and orange to finish the sauce. Slice the steak against the grain, dress with the sauce, and you're ready serve!
Tip: you can use this basic method or making a “pan sauce” for almost anything! Change up the flavors by swapping herbs, booze, wine, different citrus, zest, garlic, or other ingredients! It is a super versatile technique.