Steak de Burgo is a regional specialty in the Midwest, specifically Des Moines, Iowa. The dish usually consists of a beef tenderloin steak either topped with butter, garlic, and Italian herbs or served in a sauce consisting of those same ingredients.
Tracing the steak’s history
Des Moines Cityview food critic Jim Duncan researched the history and name origin of the de Burgo steak. The Des Moines Register’s archives indicate that the steak began appearing prewar on the menus of the more refined restaurants. Restaurants with names like Vic’s Tally-Ho and Johnny and Klay’s claimed to have created the de Burgo steak The steak became popular and began appearing in other restaurants but most of those restaurants have vanished. Duncan reports other historical sources, claiming the de Burgo steak has some kind of connection to the Castilian city of Burgos. The theory infers that, since many immigrants came to the United States during the Spanish Civil War, the original aioli recipe used in early versions of the dish came from a recipe that was outlawed by Franco due to its association with centers of rebellion, which resulted in giving the steak it’s “de Burgo” code name. It’s a fantastic and deeply untrue seeming theory.
Writing in DSM Magazine last year, Wini Moranville offered another theory after interviewing the son of Kay Campiano—part owner of one of the restaurants with claim to the de Burgo’s origin—who stated for the record that his father brought the recipe back from New Orleans after the second world war. However, steak de Burgo doesn’t seem to be prepared anywhere in New Orleans.
The Register’s archives also mention that steak de Burgo was in a 1963 newspaper column titled “Over the Coffee.” This column was written by Harlan Miller and tracks one man’s travels for a week in the 1960s Des Moines. He has steak de Burgo on a Thursday. The de Burgo appears in advertisements for restaurants throughout the 70s.
Source City View http://www.dmcityview.com/
Steak de Burgo
For 2 servings
1 tenderloin steak about 1 lb
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ each Salt and Pepper
De Burgo Sauce
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1 tablespoon of heavy cream
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano
Preheat an outdoor grill or stovetop grill pan. Mix the dried oregano, garlic powder, salt and ground black pepper in a small bowl. Dry the steak with paper towels, rub the mixture all over the meat. Place the steak on the grill and cook for 4 minutes on each side or until meat reaches desired doneness (for medium-rare, a thermometer should read 135°; medium, 140°; medium-well, 145°).
Remove the steak from the heat and tent with foil.
In a skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add garlic cloves and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except the butter. and heat over low. Whisk in the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Cook for about 2 minutes.
Pour the sauce over the steak. Slice the steak and serve.