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The Deen Brothers talk steak, wine and granddaddy’s chickens

By: Jordan Wright
Special to The Washington Examiner
September 5, 2010

Jamie and Bobby Deen with local winner Kim Porterfield

Jamie and Bobby Deen with local winner Kim Porterfield

All hell’s broken loose outside these walls. Seventy-five mph straight-line winds tear across fields surrounding the Legg Mason Tennis Tournament venue snapping 100 year-old trees like chopsticks and ripping them from their earthy sockets.

Below us a small army of grounds keepers armed with push brooms uselessly displace three-inch deep puddles that have submerged the courts. From a luxury ark (read: skybox) Jamie and Bobby Deen talk about grilling … something they know plenty about. “Granddaddy made his own 50-gallon drum for grilling at home. All he put on his chickens was lemon and Worcestershire sauce, and they were known far and wide as the county’s best chickens,” Jamie reminisces.

Between ear-splitting thunderclaps and sky-slicing lightning, I learned of their latest adventures and plans for the future. Jamie is putting together a new show called “The Family Table” and Bobby is in development on his own project. They’ll be on separate paths for awhile though still managing the family’s The Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah, Ga. Together they await the upcoming release of their fourth and latest cookbook, “Take It Outside”.

This spring, “The Boys,” as everyone calls Paula Deen’s sons, debuted their new magazine, “Deen Bros. Good Cooking,” whose target readership aims for a predominantly male audience hopped up on tailgating, grilling and barbecue. “My favorite cut is the bone-in rib eye. I tell everyone, when I’m done cutting, I will pick up the bone and finish it off!” warns Jamie. As for Bobby, “I’ll opt for a big old porterhouse every time.”

The Boys learned a lot about restaurants and cooking styles through their Food Network series, “Road Tasted.” But they knew little or nothing about wine. “We knew enough to get the bottle open. But after a four-day trip to Napa with the guys at Beringer Vineyards, we learned a lot,” Jamie told me. Now they’re traveling around the country for Beringer looking for the “Ultimate Griller” in the Beringer Great Steak Challenge that pairs the best steak recipe with Beringer wine. The battle, with a grand prize of $15,000 and a guest appearance on The Cooking Channel, will culminate this October at the winery’s splendid 1,600-acre Napa Valley vineyards.

As hosts of the nationwide search they were here for the mid-Atlantic regional competition and to announce the Mid-Atlantic winner, Kim Porterfield of Pulaski, Pa., whose delectable Oyster Rockefeller Filets recipe is featured along with the Deens’ Blackberry Head of State Steak recipe.

Oyster Rockefeller Filets

Wine Pairing – Beringer Pinot Noir

GSC DC 4_Winning Steak Oyster Rockefeller Filets

GSC DC 4_Winning Steak Oyster Rockefeller Filets

» Ingredients
Filling: One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry; 1/2 cup shredded Fontina cheese; 2 Tbsp. fresh grated Parmesan cheese; 1/4 tsp garlic salt; 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper; 6 8-ounce filet mignon steaks, 1 1/2 inches thick, brought to room temperature. Six slices lean smoky bacon; 2 Tbsp. olive oil; 1 tsp salt; 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper. Sauce: 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter; 4 whole cloves peeled garlic, slightly smashed; 12 large fresh oysters, shucked, rinsed, drained and quartered. Juice of one half of a lemon; 1 tsp Louisiana hot sauce; 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce; 6 slices rustic bread, 1 inch thick; 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Fresh chopped parsley for garnish.

» Directions
Heat grill to high temperature. Combine filling ingredients. Slice a pocket into the side of each steak and stuff with spinach mixture. Wrap bacon around side and secure with toothpicks. Brush steaks on both sides with the oil, and season with the salt and pepper. Place the steaks on the grill and let cook until golden brown and slightly charred, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook another 4 to 5 minutes for medium rare (an internal temperature of 135 degrees F), or to desired temperature. Remove to a platter, tent with foil, and let rest. Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan on the grates of the grill or a side burner, over medium heat (turn down one burner), melt 1 stick of the butter. Add the garlic, oysters, lemon juice, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Cook until edges of oysters start to curl, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining butter, one tablespoon at a time, to thicken sauce. Remove garlic cloves. Keep warm. Brush bread with oil and grill a few minutes on each side until lightly toasted. To serve, place one filet on each of six dinner plates (remove toothpicks). Spoon the oyster sauce over the steaks. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve with the grilled bread to soak up the yummy juices remaining on your plate!

The Deen Brothers Blackberry Head of State Steak

The Deen Brothers Blackberry Head of State Steak

The Deen Brothers Blackberry Head of State Steak

Tip: If you don’t have fresh blackberries or want to save some money, use blackberry preserves. Save the leftover butter mixture for pancakes the next morning.

4 tablespoons softened butter
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup blackberries
1/2 teaspoon sugar
4 (8-ounce) beef tenderloin steaks about 11/2 inches thick
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Combine the butter, lemon zest, and tarragon in a medium bowl until creamy. Finely crush the berries and sugar with a fork in a small bowl. Add the berry mixture to the butter mixture, stirring to blend well. Mound the butter mixture into small bowl; set aside.

Spray a grill rack with nonstick spray and preheat the grill to medium-high. Sprinkle the steaks with salt and pepper. Place the steaks on the grill rack and grill, about 5 minutes per side for rare or until desired doneness. Transfer the steaks to a platter. Let rest 5 minutes. Serve with the butter mixture.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Difficulty: Easy

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