Michelle Palmer: Steak Delmonico straight from the source (recipe)

  • Discuss Comment, Blog about
  • Print Friendly and PDF

The Delmonico steak! Delmonico’s New York, located at 56 Beaver St.: the first fine dining restaurant in the history of the United States. In Manhattan the oldest of steak houses; yes 1837!

Many famous dishes were invented there. Have you ever had eggs benedict, lobster Newburg or baked Alaska? Yes, along with the Delmonico steak, came from the famed Delmonico’s.

On the dirt road in front of the building the best parts of the male beef cattle would be broken down into the parts needed to supply the protein for the plate for that day. Remember this is 1837.

Their famed cookbook pictures are drawn with graphite; also known as a pencil. The details of the drawings are superb. The famed chef of the time was Charles Ranhofer. He was from St-Denis, France, born into a family of cooks. His grandfather had been a cook, and his father owned a restaurant. At the age of 12 he was apprenticed to a pastry maker in Paris and by the age of 15 he completed his apprenticeship becoming a chief baker in Paris.

In 1879, at the age of 43, after many visits as a cook back and forth from France to New York he ran Delmonico’s. He published his book “The Epicurean” in 1894 which is where I am using the recipe for Delmonico steak. 1860s, a couple came into the restaurant, the wife stating nothing on the menu thrilled her, so she asked chef Ranhofer to create something for her.

The couple’s name was Mr. and Mrs. LeGrand “Benedict,” and you can guess the rest of the story.

Steak Delmonico

As written: Directly from “The Epicurean” cookbook

(1375) Delmonico sirloin steak of twenty ounces, plain

(Biftect de Contrefilet Delmonico de Vingt Ounces, Nature)

Cut from a sirloin slices two inches in thickness; beat them to flatten to an inch and a half thick; trim nicely; they should now weigh 20 ounces each; salt them on both sides, baste over with oil or melted butter, and broil them on a moderate fire for 14 if desired very rare; 18 to be done properly, and 22 to be well done.

Set them on a hot dish with clear gravy (No. 404) or Maître d’hôtel butter (No. 581)

(581) Maître ď hotel Butter (Beurre Maître d’ hotel)

Mix in with some fresh butter, chopped parsley, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. I used Maître d hotel butter and shallots coated with cornstarch then deep fried the shallots to top the steak.

Michelle Palmer is owner of Absolutely Michelle’s Chef-for-Hire. 


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment