Steak Oscar is the perfect choice for a romantic dinner at home. Juicy steaks are topped with a creamy crab sauce sautéed with chopped red bell peppers and seasoned with paprika and cayenne pepper.
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When you ponder the makings of a romantic dinner, most people think of dim lights, a glass of wine, a well-dressed server tending to your every need, and if you are my husband, a perfectly prepared steak. Unfortunately, if you are in the same boat as we are – kids and a tight budget – a trip to a steakhouse isn’t always practical. Often, our date nights happen at home. Thankfully, this easy to prepare surf and turf recipe for Steak Oscar just as delicious as an expensive steakhouse dinner, but at a fraction of the cost.
What is Steak Oscar and where did it get its name?
Steak Oscar began as Veal Oscar. It was named for Sweden’s King Oscar II, who was king in 1897 when the dish was first served. It features a veal cutlet topped with asparagus spears, crabmeat, and Béarnaise sauce. The historic Delmonico’s Steakhouse in New York City began offering Oscar-style steaks on their menu and today, the dish is more commonly made with steak.
My recipe is a slight variation of the traditional recipe. I substituted the Béarnaise, similar to a Hollandaise sauce, for a simple cream sauce. I also chose to serve roasted asparagus on the side rather than include it with the topping.
Prepare the Steaks
I used beef tenderloin filets for this post. However, you can use any cut of steak you prefer. Start by preheating a broiler. Then heat a tablespoon of cooking oil in a sturdy, oven proof skillet, such as cast iron, over medium high heat. Season both sides of the steaks with salt and ground black pepper.
Once the oil begins to smoke, place the steaks in the hot skillet. Depending on how many steaks you are preparing, you may need to do this in batches. You don’t want to crowd the skillet or drastically bring the temperature down by adding a lot of food. Sear the outside of the steaks for 2-3 minutes per side until a nice, golden crust forms on the outside.
Depending on the thickness of the steak and how you like them prepared, you may need to finish cooking them by popping them under the boiler for a few minutes. The internal temperature of the steak when measured with a meat thermometer should be:
- 120 to 125 degrees F for rare
- 130 to 135 degrees F for medium rare
- 140 to 145 degrees F for medium
- 150 to 155 degrees F for medium well
- 160 degrees F for well done.
Once cooked through, remove the skillet from the oven and transfer the steaks to a plate. Allow the meat to rest for 15 minutes.
Prepare the Crab Topping
In the same skillet, heat two tablespoons of butter. Add one small, diced bell pepper and cook for 2-4 minutes until the pepper is slightly tender. Add two cloves of minced garlic and ¼ cup of diced green onions. Continue to sauté the vegetables for one more minute.
Add two tablespoons of all-purpose flour, stirring to combine the flour with the butter and coat the vegetables. Sauté for 1-2 minutes. Next, slowly pour in 1/3 cup of heavy cream, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the cream to a simmer and continue to cook until the cream has reduced and thickened, about 2-4 minutes.
Finally, add six ounces of lump crabmeat, ¼ teaspoon of paprika, and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Cook until the crabmeat is heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon a generous tablespoon of crabmeat on top of each steak. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired.
Storing and Reheating
Storing: Leftover crab topping should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Consume withing four days.
Reheating: Crab topping can be reheated in the microwave for 30 seconds to a minute until heated through.
Freezing: Freezing is not recommended as the cream can separate and become watery.
What to Serve with Steak Oscar:
- Creamed Collard Greens
- Bacon, Lettuce, And Tomato Wedge Salad
- Scalloped Potatoes with Bacon
- Cheese And Cauliflower Gratin
For the Steaks:
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 4 (4 oz. each) beef tenderloin filets or cut of your choice
- Kosher salt and ground pepper
For the Crabmeat Topping:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 8 oz. lump crab meat picked of shells and cartilage
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt to taste
- Chopped fresh parsley optional
For the steaks:
- Preheat broiler. Position oven rack about six inches from the element.
- Heat olive oil in a large, oven safe skillet over medium high heat.
- Season both sides of the filets with salt and pepper.
- Once oil is hot, carefully add the filets. Cook 2-3 minutes per side until brown.
- Place skillet under broiler and finish in the oven until meat reaches desired consistency – 120 to 125 degrees F for rare, 130 to 135degrees F for medium rare, 140 to 145 degrees F for medium, 150 to 155 degrees F for medium well, and 160 degrees F for well done.
- Remove skillet from the oven and transfer filets to plate. Allow meat to rest for 15 minutes.
For the crab meat topping:
- Using the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add bell pepper and cook for 2-4 minutes until slightly tender.
- Add garlic and green onions and sauté for one minute.
- Add the flour, stirring to combine. Sauté for 1-2 minutes to remove the raw flour taste.
- Pour in heavy cream, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a simmer and continue to cook until the cream has reduced and thickened, about 2-4 minutes.
- Add crabmeat, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Cook until heated through. Season with salt.
- Top each steak with a heaping tablespoon of the crabmeat topping. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.