Written by Chef Phil

Saturday, 10 December 2005

User Rating: / 2

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Chef Phil's
Weekly Recipe

Carpet Bag Steak

Carpet Bag Steak Recipe

Sausage and Vegetable Frittata Recipe

Carpet Bag Steak

Recipe for December 10, 2005

This is a classic recipe that you rarely find served any more, however it was some 20 years ago that I first became acquainted with this dish. Since then it has become one of my favorites. This dish was given its name because the finished product is supposed to represent a carpet baggers' bag. These individuals were made famous in the post civil war era as to the land grabbing Yankee’s that amassed a considerable fortune by preying on a savaged south. These people were hated by Southerners and were identified by the bags they carried which were made from old carpet.

As to the dish and why it was given this name I am not sure of, however it is a cooked fillet turned on its side, then split stuffed with fried oysters and topped with béarnaise. Its simply delicious and decadent.

Carpet Bag Steak

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes.
Carpet Bag Steak

Serves 2
2 ea. 6 oz. beef tenderloin fillets
6 ea. raw oysters (removed from their shells)
frying oil (just enough to fry oysters)
½ cup flour (to dredge oysters prior to frying)
To taste salt and pepper


3 ea. eggs
1 oz. tarragon vinegar
1 lb. Salted butter (melted and skimmed)
2 bu. Fresh tarragon (stemmed)
1 ea. shallot (minced)
3 oz. white wine
3 oz. white wine vinegar
To taste freshly ground black pepper
To taste salt and pepper

Place butter in a double boiler and melt butter skim all milk solids that rise to the top, keep warm at about 135°-145°f. place tarragon, wine, vinegar, shallot and fresh ground pepper in a sauce pan and turn on to medium heat and reduce mixture until dry but not burned. Put mixture to the side and allow to cool. Put eggs, tarragon vinegar and salt and pepper in a blender and mix on high, remove lid or center plug in top carefully while blender is going and pour a steady stream of butter slowly down the center into the vortex of the mixture in the blender, keep pouring into vortex until it closes and keep pouring for approximately 10 seconds after or until mixture has a thin mayonnaise, like consistency. Remove from blender and put into a bowl mix in cooled tarragon reduction and serve.


Season fillets with salt and pepper and cook on medium high heat in a cast iron skillet or on a grill approximately 4 to 5 minutes per side to get a doneness of medium rare, extend time per side given thickness and desired temperature. Season and dredge oysters and fry in oil at 350°f. for about 1 minute or just until oysters float. Just before service turn fillet on its side and split fillet with a sharp knife ¾ of the way through and stuff with fried oysters. Place on plate and top with sauce, bon appetit and happy holidays.

Yours truly in a fog of cigar smoke,
Chef Phil 

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© 2005, Kevin Godbee & Philipp V. Denfeld.

Re-print with permission only.
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