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Valentines day dinner for wife who likes her steak "well done."

I'm cooking dinner for my wife on Valentine's day, and I know she prefers her steak well done (basically, she doesn't want to see red--she calls that "well done" but perhaps I can get away with medium/medium well). I wanted to do something special, like filet mignon, but I'm worried that it won't be very good if I cook it to her specifications. I also want to make a bearnaise sauce because, well, it's amazing and I've never made it before.
Do you think I'd be better off choosing a different cut? What cut would you recommend that would be OK cooked past medium rare and would also take the bearnaise sauce well?
Also, can you recommend some quick sides? I won't have much time to make the meal as I get out of work somewhat late...

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  1. Ribeye has more marbling, so it can bring the flavor and perhaps remain tender as you cook the life out of it ;-)
    But, it really depends of what your wife likes. If filet "wows" her, then do filet, by all means.
    Sides? Simple oven roasted brussel sprouts, asparagus, or cauliflower.
    What's nice about an oven roasted veg. is that you just put it on a baking sheet with evoo, s+p and let the oven do the work while you attend to other things.
    Pommes Anna can be made ahead of time and reheated later.

    1 Reply
    1. re: monavano

      monavano,
      I'd never heard of Pommes Anna. Just spent 10 minutes salivating over various recipes online. Thank you for educating me!

    2. Filet is the least flavorful cut, since it has almost no marbling, and cooking it to well done or thereabouts is going to make it even more tasteless. Maybe a boneless ribeye? And the bearnaise sauce is a good ideal, regardless.

      SIdes? Pommes frites, of course. And a sprig of watercress if you're so inclined.

       
      1. You *could* even do frozen fries as a side.
        GASP!!
        DH and I love Zesties, and I'm not proud, so yeah, I eat and really enjoy them!

        Lucky wife, btw!

        1 Reply
        1. re: monavano

          Gosh I miss those Zestie fries.

        2. How about beef stroganoff? It is usually made with filet so it is a quick dish to put together. Serve it with egg noodles and a salad.
          Bearnaise, hollandaise, beurre blanc are good with fish as well. I think butter sauces go well with most proteins and vegetables.

          12 Replies
          1. re: DowntownJosie

            never heard of stroganoff being made with filet mignon, but anything is possible.

            op, does your wife actually like steak? many who order meat well done don't actually care for the flavor. if she does like it? cook it the way she likes if this meal is for her. :)

            steamed broccoli or green beans make a quick side dish. as do sauteed mushrooms.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              I never make my beef stroganoff with anything BUT filet mignon -- used the recipe out of The Gourmet Cookbook the first time I made it and it was so good I never looked for another.

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Stroganoff is generally made with tenderloin aka filet. What kind of beef to you use for your stroganoff?

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    Following my mother's example, starting in the mid-50s, I have never made Stroganoff with anything but beef tenderloin. It is an excellent use for those of us who buy a whole tenderloin and trim it ourselves. The odd bits make terrific stroganoff. You are doing a grand thing for your wife. Fear not, Bearnaise is quite do-able. There are dozens (if not hundreds) of "blender Bearnaise" recipes out there; of course you can adapt a blender Hollandaise as well.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      Two of my Russian cookbooks and Cooking of Russia- all recipes call for filet mignon(tenderloin)for the Stroganoff.
                      The only way I make it,very delish.

                      1. re: grangie angie

                        filet indeed is cut from the tenderloin, but i guess it wouldn't occur to me to smother something that spendy.

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          So if you don't use tenderloin aka filet for stroganoff, what *do* you use?

                            1. re: monavano

                              would be more inclined to use sirloin yes, but honestly i do not like stroganoff. at. all.

                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                I love just about anything with sour cream ;-)
                                btw, I recently learned of a great way to stabilize sour cream so that it doesn't break when adding to finish a dish, such as this (from CI's Chicken Fricassee recipe).
                                Add a bit of sauce to an egg yolk to temper, then add that mix to the dish.
                                It's been working really well for me.

                  2. Are you committed to cooking a beef dish?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: grampart

                      yes, even more precisely I'm committed to steak...