Danny Wikens' Garlic Stuffed Filet

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arcticsid

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I went back to Milwaukee for what was to be a 3 1/2 week stay. I ended up working at one of Milwaukees best restaurants, The Packing House. What was to have been a short vacation turned out to be almost 4 years. It was only because of this restaurant and the chef, Danny Wiken, and the staff under him that I stayed so long.

My desire for Alaska was stronger than the wonderful job I had working with all of these people. I will never have a job, or such a great group of people to work with ever again. The send off they gave me when I left to return is enough for me to make me cry even after these last 12 years. The day I started there I was a good cook. The day I left I was able to sail on my own.

I only brought this up because without me mentioning them, and Danny, the recipe I am about to share would be like me presenting you with a written passage without providing the proper citation to go along with it.

This is an award winning steak that is still a mainstay of the Packing House. Danny would be prouud to know I shared it with you.

To begin. Take a couple filet mignons(or use another cut of steak, like a thick sirloin). Pierce several slits into each side and slide a sliver of garlic in there. You want quite a few. Dont worry about the holes, these will close up in the next step.

Season generously with your favorite mix of spices.

Take two slices of raw bacon and wrap them around the steak. You will need to tuck the ends under each other to keep it secured to the steak. I don't have a photo to show you. If you can't figure out what I mean, perhaps you shouldn't be making this. Use a toothpick if you have to.

Get some oil in a heavy pan. Get it hot you want enough to get about a third the way up the meat. BE CAREFUL!! BE CAREFUL!! You want this oil just about as hot as you can get it without it bursting into flames. Please be careful. But this is one of the keys to making this a success.

Place your steaks into this dangerously hot oil with the "seam" side of the bacon down. This will prevent the bacon from unraveling. This is going to splatter badly. Please be careful. Let it sear on this side for like 60 seconds or so, and then turn them with tongs and do the same on the other side.

We're not trying to cook them, we want to sear the meat and keep the juices inside. Remove from the oil and set aside for a minute or two.

I guess you should make the sauce first, Oh well we'll get there.

Place this steak in a pan that you have generously sprayed with cooking spray and slide into a 400F oven. Maybe 5 minutes on each side, you will of course need to turn it halfway through. No more than 5 minutes on each side. When you turn it the first time stick a meat thermometer into the very center. Take your reading and turn it over. Only you know the way you like it. You will want to pull it out just before the way you like it. It will continue to cook as it sets. (i.e., if you like it MR,125F or so, pull it out at 120F. If you like it medium 130 or so pull it out at 125F), okay, you get it.

Any meat should rest for a couple minutes before it is cut into. The intense heat has bound the fibers. Kind of like making a tight fist. You want the meat to relax and release the juices back into the meat, not on your cutting surface. This goes for a baked turkey, chicken, beef roast, pork roast, leg of lamb, whatever. If you cut into it too soon, you will relieve the "pressure" and it will be tough.

We should have made this first. This is what makes this so wonderful. If you tweak this before doing it the way I tell you to, you will screw it up, and Danny has taught you in vain. Pay attention.

This is the famous sauce.

Take 2lbs of unsalted butter(8 sticks) and cut each stick in half. This is 4 tablespoon portions. You should have 16 chunks of butter waiting. Let this warm up to room temp before you start. If you use salted butter you will FK this up, this sauce is going to be reduced. SALTED butter WILL NOT WORK!

Start with 24 ounces of chicken stock. Light. Don't want no salt. A little bit won't hurt, but be careful. The box stuff or cans will be fine. This sauce is going to be reduced, and so is the salt, so be careful.

Pour this into a heavy sauce pan with 4 ounces(liquid) of dry vermouth and 4oz of Grey poupon, or good dijon mustard, by weight. Call it a half of a cup of mustard. Bring this to a boil, stir it of course, and turn down the heat. Keep stirring this will reduce fast. Don't look away. Listen to me don't watch me. Let this cook down till it is reduced by half. Keep it simmering, low, doesn't need to be boiling.

Place 3 tablespoons of corn starch and 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and use your fingures to make sure it is dissolved nicely.

Slowly add this to the above reduction, stir constantly. Do not look away.

Immediately after doing this toss in one of those chunks of butter(still on the heat on low!), stir constantly. Don't you dare look away till all that butter is in there. As the butter is incorporated add a chunk at a time. Stir constantly. Don't look away. Add more butter. Look away and you lose.

AS soon as all the butter is incorporated remove from the heat and stir in 1 TEASPOON of salt and 1 teaspoon of CRACKED black pepper.

Danny's recipe calls for adding a capful of Gravy Master at this point. If you dont have any forget it, it is just for color any way.

You now have a killer sauce for your filets.

This sauce will hold up pretty good. If it gets too hot it WILL seperate. That means the oils in the butter will come through and the sauce will "break". If you are going to serve it immediately this shouldn't be a problem. If you intend to "hold" it place it in a pan of hot water.

If it does break a good whip will bring it back together. If it really breaks, and it souldn't, whip it good while adding just a bit of cream.

Danny makes this by the 5 gallon bucket and refrigerates it and just heats up what will be used that evening for dinner service. so it isn't as delicate as it sounds.

Do it the way I (well Danny) told you too and your friends will be wondering when you had time to attend the cooking school!!

http://www.foodspot.com/Clients/WI/Milwaukee/PackingHouse/default.aspx?accid=14690

Take a look at the link I included.

Thanks again to Danny for sharing one of his best recipes with me, and with all of you.

Troy
 
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CoachPieps

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We love to go to the Packing House for Steaks, thanks for Sharing the recipe....
 

arcticsid

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No way Coach! Whats the odds of that? You mention my name to Pauline when you go in there. Tell them I am still alive and well and that we met in cyber space. take a copy of this post in there. That'll freak em out. Thats wonderful.:h Bout got this sourdough wanna cry. LOL

Guess it just goes to show its a small world afterall.

I sure miss all those guys. I still have Dannys bicycle he sold me when I worked for him. Sitting right out side the cabin.

Wow, that about freaks me out Coach, I may need a couple more days off now.

Troy

I do need to qualify one thing. That sauce is outrageous even if all you have is a hot dog to eat it with. The quality of steaks they get at the Packing House is the absolute best they can get. If they could get better they would. The steaks they serve are delivered every single morning. I know, it was I who signed for and inspected them every day according to the standards set out by Danny. You can make the sauce successfuly, but it is unlikely you will be able to duplicate the quality of steak. Maybe, but you had better be waiting outside the back door when they are delivered.
 
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ffemt128

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Sounds delicious and I'll have to give it a try sometime soon.
 

DesertDance

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Thank you so much arcticsid! I've never tasted this particular steak, but you make it sound so good, it might be worth splattering grease all over my stove! Looking forward to the sauce too!"

So many times we hear "dont do this or that," but we don't know why, so we think, "what can it hurt?" You have explained the why's and the why nots very well!

I've been saving a bottle of good red syrah made by a winery a friend of mine owns, and I'm thinking that this steak would be great with that wine! It's Purple Grin Syrah 07.

What else does the restaurant serve with the steak? Baked Potato, or garlic mashed? Veggie? And do they present it with the sauce over or under?

Thanks!
Suzi
 

arcticsid

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Danny presents the steak with the sauce in a ramiken on the side. I have made many many sauces and only under rare circumstances do I MAKE you have the sauce. I would rather you have it on the side so you can enjoy as much as you want. Click on the link in the original post to see some of the other things he offers. He makes a rice pilaf with wild rice(which isn;t rice at all, it is a gras seed), but it is outrageous. I could never duplicate it.

I have made 10s of thousands of gallons of salad dressings, etc while I woked for them.

I can't give up the mans recipes, but I can tell you some things I learned.

The only reason I shared the Garlic Sauce recipe is because he said I could. I ran a fine dining rstaurant here and needed something off the hook to offer and I called my "teacher" and he offered it to me.

Professional etiguette tells me not to give out his recipes. I may be the onlyone ever, EVER, outside of that kitchen who knows that recipe. Simple as it may seem, it is the cats meow. IF YOU DO IT LIKE HE SAID!

I see in here all the time with wine. Someone will take a recipe they have never tried and tweak it, and then come back to the forum and ask what went wrong.

But Suzi, I think some garliced Mashed would be a great compliment to this. I would personally roast the garlic first. Put the whole bulb in the oven at about 350 for about 30 or 40 minutes. When it is done the paper wil be dust, the cloves themselves will cook down to a soft paste like, and you will easily beable to smash em up.
 

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