Slavonic Steak rich in flavor and memories


POSTED: Wednesday, February 04, 2009

At the old Crouching Lion, the dish they called Slavonic Steak was finished tableside in saute pans filled with butter and garlic. No wonder it made such an impression.

“;As long-time kamaainas who are now mainland transplants, Slavonic Steak was a family tradition around the holidays that we all miss,”; Marsha Hill wrote.

I found a recipe in “;The Island Plate II,”; written by my counterpart at the Honolulu Advertiser, Wanda Adams. Wanda combed through 150 years worth of Advertisers to get to some choice recipes of yesteryear (she is made of sterner stuff than I).

She found the steak recipe in an edition from the '50s. I tried it on my family; it was pronounced well worth repeating.

Then I met up with chef Robert Denis, a longtime employee of the restaurants owned by Fred Livingston. These included the Crouching Lion and the more recent but also closed Tower Grill. He's now chef at Don Ho's Island Grill.

Denis had the steak on the menu at Tower Grill, and is bringing it back for the Valentine's Day menu at Don Ho's. He plans to do all the cooking in the kitchen, though. No tableside saute.

He refined the recipe for me, and gave me his analysis of its appeal: “;It's like an M&M—it just melts in the mouth.”; Plus, “;any time you use butter you can't fail.”;

  The deck is rather stacked in favor of this steak: It's filet mignon, heavily dosed in pepper and fresh herbs, marinated overnight in olive oil, pan-seared to seal in the flavor and then coated in butter and garlic. (If you can't afford filet mignon, by the way, I made mine with New York strip.)

If you'd rather Denis just make the steak for you, the five-course Valentine's dinner at Don Ho's is $30, centering on entree choices of Pesto Salmon or Rosemary & Garlic Slavonic Steak with Shrimp Scampi. Call 528-0807. It's available Feb. 14 and 15.

For Wanda's book: It's published by Island Heritage and goes for $19.95 at bookstores or at amazon.com.


Slavonic Steak

2 8-ounce pieces filet mignon
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Chopped parsley, for garnishp> » Marinade:
2 cups olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 pound fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary and parsley), chopped
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper

Whisk together marinade ingredients.

Place filet mignon in marinade; refrigerate overnight.

The next day, heat saute pan with a hint of olive oil. Remove steak from marinade and pan-sear until rare.

Gently heat a separate saute pan. Add butter and garlic, cooking until garlic is lightly brown.

Slice steak and place in pan with butter. Cook to desired doneness. Sprinkle with parsley. Serves 4.

Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 400 calories, 30 g total fat, 9 g saturated fat, 90 mg cholesterol, 100 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, no sugar, 26 g protein.