Grilled Steak Harlan with La Croix Port Reduction

Perhaps the most significant contribution to the advance of Western Civilization since the discovery of the cow is this amazing steak duet mastered by software engineer Michael Harlan for his inspiration, Tami La Croix. Two styles of beef, masculine and feminine, are perfectly paired with the addition of a blanket of sautéd mushrooms. Harlan believes a NY Strip works better for the guys, Filet Mignon for the gals. I get kind of misty-eyed thinking about it. Continue the engendered theme with a manly baked potato and/or a womanly pan of roasted fingerling potatoes cooked in garlic, onion, herbs. The beef is best appreciated with a fine Zinfandel or Syrah.
Yield 4 steaks

la croix reduction sauce
1 cup carrots, coarsely chopped
1 cup celery, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 large portobello mushroom, chopped in half-inch (1 cm) cubes
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 bottle Port wine (750 ml)
1 tablespoon French mushroom demi-glace
2 tablespoons butter

harlan steak
4 large steaks, Filet Mignon for women, New York Strip for men
1 tablespoon Montreal seasoning salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup garlic, minced
1/2 cup softened butter

1 Make reduction sauce: In a skillet over medium-high heat, add dry ingredients and cook until soft and onions are tender and just turning brown. Add port and slowly reduce on medium heat until thickened but not syrupy, approximately 1 hour to yield about 1 cup. Mix demi-glace with 1/4 cup warm water and add to sauce. Strain, using a mesh strainer, pressing liquids out of vegetables. Add small amounts of butter to further thicken sauce. The sauce can be made a day ahead.
2 Lightly sprinkle both sides of steak with Montreal Seasoning Salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Spread minced garlic onto both sides and let stand for up to 1 hour to allow garlic juices to release. Do not let stand for longer than 1 hour as steak will become salty.
3 Heat grill to high.
4 Grill steaks to temperature desired, turning twice. Just before pulling from the grill, finish steaks applying 1/2 to 1 tablespoon butter, allowing butter to melt into the steak before turning and buttering the other side. The flames should leap up and will not only seal in the juices but should burn off the fat and create a tasty, crispy outer edge.
5 Serve steaks with reduction sauce on the side.

notes NOTE Montreal Seasoning Salt (recipe here) is based on a pickling dry-rub mix. It contains black pepper, kosher salt, cayenne pepper flakes, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, thyme, dill seed, and caraway seed.

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