Just a few simple ingredients
It never ceases to amaze me how just a few simple ingredients can be turned into a rich, incredibly delicious meal.
Through our years with this website, Liz and I have discovered, at least from a culinary perspective, that the world is large, yet very small. We’ve seen how a dish can be so ingrained in a culture that people believe it to be the one source of truth—the original. But is it?
Instead of debating origin stories, we offer our usual disclaimer here: We don’t claim that our version of Azores-Style Regional Steak (Bife à Regional) is the original or the most authentic version of this dish. It’s a version—our take on it—and we love it, and as always, we’re thrilled to share it with you. 😃 On that note, let’s get started.
Seasoning the meat
During the development of this recipe I researched different recipes available online. Many suggested seasoning after searing the meat. My person prefernce is to season meat before I start cooking it, so I added salt and pepper on both sides of the steaks before searing them.
Bife à Regional recipe is sometimes prepared with different cuts of meat. I decided to use tenderloin to make it incredibly tender. You can cut through these steaks with a butter knife.
A key ingredient substitution
I was accustomed to having this dish with “pimenta da terra”, which is produced on the Island of São Miguel. Pimenta da terra is sweet pepper often prepared with hot spices and salt. It can be found minced or sliced in strips, and is used in many dishes on the island.
For our version of the dish, since I didn’t have pimenta da terra on hand. I used roasted red peppers instead. True it wasn’t the traditional method, but in my humble opinion, it was a perfect substitute. If you prefer some heat, add hot chili flakes or hot sauce when you add the peppers.
Seriously easy to prepare
The dish may taste like a fancy restaurant meal, but it’s actually quite easy to prepare. I seasoned the steaks, seared them over hot olive oil, added the garlic, peppers, and white wine. The wine reduced by half, and then I whisked in the butter to create a delicious rich sauce right in the pan with the meat.
I fried up a couple of eggs in another pan and served them ‘ovo a cavalo’ (meaning egg riding a horse, or ‘horseback’) on the steaks, peppers, and sauce, next to a generous portion of homemade fries.
Can I just say, I may be from Ontario, the province next to Quebec where poutine is the best (IMO), but I don’t know if there’s much that’s better than homemade fries dipped (or swimming) in this sauce. Liz suggested we bottle it. lol
Nostalgia and food
Liz and I love to try new restaurants when we go out. I’ll try almost any dish from any country. But there’s always something special and nostalgic about eating something you grew up with.
Although I didn’t grow up in São Miguel, my mom would sometimes prepare a dish a lot like this one. Today’s recipe brought back some happy memories for me. I guess you can call it ‘emotional eating’ (lol).
I love the connection of food to memories and to how it creates new memories and builds communities. We hope you feel that too when you try this dish and make today yummy!
Azores-Style Regional Steak (Bife à Regional)
- 4 beef tenderloin steaks approx. total of .53 kg or 1.17 lbs
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large roasted red peppers sliced in long strips (about a cup full)
- 4 cloves of garlic peeled, whole and crushed
- 3/4 cups white wine
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- Bring the steaks up to room temperature by leaving them out of the fridge for about 30 minutes.
- Season both sides of the steaks with the salt and pepper.
- Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan on medium high heat.
- Carefully place the steaks on the hot oil to sear.
- Turn the steaks over after about two minutes or once the steaks have browned nicely on the first side.
- After about two minutes of cooking the second side of the steaks, lower the heat to medium, and add the garlic and roasted red peppers to the pan beside the steaks.
- Once the garlic starts to brown, add the white wine.
- Let the wine reduce by about half, and add the butter.
- Mix the melted butter with the reduced wine using a whisk.
- Lower the heat to low to keep the meat slowly simmering in the sauce.
- In another small pan, heat the last tbsp of oil over medium heat.
- Carefully crack the eggs into the pan separately and cook/fry until the whites are no longer translucent and the yolks are cooked to your liking.
- Plate two steaks per dish, add the garlic and peppers over the steaks, and drizzle the sauce equally over both sets of steaks.
- Place the fried eggs over the steaks.
- Serve with a generous portion of fries, a salad, or both.