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Romantic gestures come in various forms. A public declaration, a lavish gift, a surprise trip away, a thoughtful act of service… A surefire way to send a message of love is a decadent meal, homecooked with care. Light some candles, pull out that table cloth you never use, pick a romantic playlist and by the time the meal hits the table the message will have been received loud and clear.
Fancy food at home doesn’t have to take hours to prepare (the total time on this recipe might be an hour and a half, but an hour of that is just resting time), it doesn’t have to be challenging or complicated. The trick is to invest in the best quality ingredients, and let them speak for themselves. (And to keep the Champagne flowing!) You’re in the right place to grab the premium quality beef, seafood and wine that you need.
The instructions below are detailed. We want you to know exactly what you need to do, read it through before you begin and really internalise it. Everything happens quite quickly during the cook-time, so you won’t want to be stopping to check what to do next. So, read those instructions one more time, take a deep breath, get ready and go!
2 tenderloin steaks - at room temperature
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and gently squashed
4 sprigs of thyme
100g Salted butter
2 lobster tails - defrosted
½ a bunch of tarragon
½ a bunch of dill
Warm 50g of butter, the juice and zest of a lemon and the chopped dill and tarragon in a small saucepan. Just melt the butter and let all the flavours mingle.
Set your grill (or oven on grill mode) to medium and allow it to warm up.
Halve your lobster tails using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife and set them on an oven tray with the cut side up. Brush them with half of the marinade.
Set a timer for 6 minutes and put your tails in the oven. The timer is important, while you’re focused on the steaks you’re sure to forget about the lobster in the oven!
Set a heavy-bottomed frying pan over high heat until it screaming hot. You can test this by hovering your hand about 2 inches above the pan, if you can only last there 1-2 seconds you’re ready to go.
Just before putting it in the pan, season your steaks liberally on both sides and around the edges with salt and pepper. You can sprinkle salt and crack pepper onto your cutting board and roll the steak around to get the edges. Last minute is important, the salt will draw moisture out of the steak as it sits so you want to minimise the time the meat is salted for.
Turn the flame to medium add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil then quickly follow with the steak. Give it a brief wiggle in the pan, just to make sure it’s not stuck, then let it sit for a bit. Add the garlic and thyme to the pan around the steaks.
Cook for one minute, moving the steak around in the pan, then flip it over and cook for another minute. Press the steaks up against the side of the pan to sear the edges. (If the shape of your pan won’t work for this, you might need to stand the steaks on their sides to get them nicely charred.)
Nappé is the French term for basting in the pan. Add about 50g of butter to the pan, ideally near the garlic and thyme, then when it is melted, tilt the pan and spoon the butter over the steaks, then repeat.
Carry on for about one more minute. Tilt the pan, collect the butter, baste the steaks. Don’t lift the pan too far from the flame though, it needs to stay hot.
Remove the steaks from the pan to a plate. Pour the pan juices over the steaks and leave them in a warm place to rest while you get on with the lobster tails.
While the steaks are resting, pull the lobster tails out of the grill and brush with the remaining marinade.
Put them back into the grill for around 6 more minutes. They should be white, opaque and firm to the touch.
When they are done, drizzle the lobster with a little lobster oil, and arrange them and the steak on two plates to share with your loved one (or loved one to be!). Serve with Champagne, of course!