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Steak de Burgo

Steak de Burgo

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  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 6- to 8-ounce beef tenderloin steaks (about 1 inch thick)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Recipe Preparation

  • Melt butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let garlic butter stand 2 hours at room temperature.

  • Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper. Grill steaks to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare. Place pan of garlic butter at edge of grill to rewarm.

  • Transfer steaks to plates. Spoon garlic butter over. Sprinkle with herbs and serve.

Reviews Section

Steak de Burgo

Steak de Burgo is a rich, indulgent dish of beef tenderloin in a creamy mushroom and garlic sauce. This classic restaurant recipe originated in Des Moines, Iowa, circa 1939.

Makes 2 servings
Total Time 20 minutes

Per Serving: 623 cal 43g total fat (21g sat) 217mg chol 140mg sodium 8g carb 0g fiber 47g protein

1 Picture

Recipe Steps

  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 Baking Sheet
  • 1 Medium Pot
  • 1 Colander
  • 1 Medium Non-Stick Pan

Before You Cook

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

If using any fresh produce, thoroughly rinse and pat dry

Prepare a baking sheet with foil and cooking spray

Ingredient(s) used more than once: cream

Steak de Burgo

  • Author: Emily
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 steaks 1 x


Steak rubbed with a savory blend of herbs and seasonings, cooked just right, topped with a creamy pan sauce flavored with basil, oregano, chicken broth and garlic.


1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon of vegetable oil

4 rib-eye or strip steaks of similar thickness

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved

1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar

5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced into cubes

1 tablespoon of heavy cream

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano


Preheat your grill. Mix dried oregano, garlic powder, a pinch of salt and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl. After you have dried your steaks with paper towels, rub the mixture all over the meat. Place them on the grill and cook to desired doneness. Remove from heat and tent with foil. While the steaks rest, proceed to step 2.

In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil on medium heat. You’ll know it’s hot when the oil spreads out over the bottom. Add garlic cloves and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Carefully stir in the chicken broth and vinegar. It will boil immediately upon entering the pan so be careful. Now whisk in butter, cream, basil and fresh oregano and cook about 2 minutes. Pluck out the garlic and discard it. Season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over your steaks and serve.

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Steak De Burgo

People are passionate about their DeBurgo sauce, and rightfully so. This tasty dish was created right here in Iowa, and has been made by many chefs and savored by many patrons over the past 60 years. Recipes differ, but we think this version is quite good and easy to prepare at home.


2 tablespoons butter • 2- 8 oz Rube's Filet Mignon (or your favorite cut) • 1/4 cup white wine • 2 teaspoons garlic paste • 1/2 teaspoons each basil, thyme, oregano, sea salt • 1 cup cream • 1 tablespoons butter

In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add steaks. Brown on each side, approximately 3-4 minutes. Transfer steaks to baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes for medium rare. Save skillet and juices for the sauce. While the steaks cook, deglaze the skillet with wine, stirring frequently. Mix in all seasonings, allow to cook for 5 minutes. Add cream and stir often while sauce thickens and reduces. When sauce is reduced, stir in butter until melted. Spoon over steaks and serve.

AJ’s Steak De Burgo

Steak – if you are going to go out for steak you want it to be great as there is nothing more disappointing than looking into the eyes of the one across the table and saying, “Gosh honey, we can make a better steak at home.” And, sadly, that has happened to me more than once.

Well, coming up soon we will be posting a review of my most favorite steak place – AJ’s Steakhouse. I was there just last week and well, they do steak so great that steak was on all four plates in the party. And, That night was the third time I had been there in the last 30 days – the place is That great. The review will outline all the facts and favs so you have all the details should you want to go there and give it a try yourself. For sure it is a great place to go for a special occasion or as a way to make any old night a special one.

But….. in the meantime – for Everyone to enjoy, we are sharing the recipe of my most favorite dish from there – This is AJ’s Steak De Burgo.

Now – Steak De Burgo is on the menu at several restaurants and is often highlighted as a specialty, but there is just something extra special about AJ’s. And, just in case you don’t want to take my word for it, I think it is worthwhile to share that this dish was put on the menu for a couple events where there were 1000 people served and several people commented on how delicious it is. And, lol, even the vegetarians liked it too as the sauce is a Great topper for veges too.

I was given this recipe as a gift – and I So hope someone out there enjoys this one. Funny perhaps, but I am not even sure I will ever make this myself at home – simply because I enjoy it so much when I want to go to AJ’s.

AJ’s Steak De Burgo (this will feed a family of 4)

8 3-4oz beef tenderloin medallions 2 per-person, seasoned with garlic, Lawry’s seasoned salt & pepper to taste then cooked to desired temperature.

1 ½ Tablespoons granulated or chopped garlic
1 Tablespoon Oregano
1 Tablespoon Dry sweet basil
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup white wine (Chablis preferred) or what is available
2 ½ cups Heavy Whipping Cream
2 Tablespoons real butter no salt

Take your wine and all seasonings in sauté pan on medium heat and reduce by half.
Next, add your cream and reduce by a third or to desired thickness. This takes about 15 minutes.
Final step is to finish with real butter until incorporated.

The Ultimate Steak de Burgo

Food is the new politics. Both subjects inspire intense loyalties that are usually only shared by a minority. Just as Alexandria Occasio-Cortez fans can’t comprehend how anyone could support supply-side economics, deep dish pizza fans can’t understand how others could prefer tavern-style pizza. If anything, food arguments are more splintered than political ones. That’s probably because every human has a unique combination of 2,000 to 8,000 different “taste buds,” each of which can be more or less sensitive from one person’s tongue to another’s. Those different combinations are as distinctive as fingerprints, yet most people want others to like eating the same things they like to eat.

At CITYVIEW, the First Amendment is our favorite. We love a good argument. We leave the complexity of political polling to Gallup, Rasmussen and Ann Selzer. However, to determine a consensus about more intricate local tastes, we instigated the Ultimate Food Challenge in 2010. Each summer we have begun a poll to determine Des Moines’ favorite sandwich, steakhouse, pizza (twice), burger and pasta. These competitions whittled our fields down to a single popular favorite.

This year, we are asking you to select Des Moines’ best steak de burgo, a dish that is uniquely identified with Des Moines. Filet (tenderloin) of beef is cooked to order and served with a sauce that might differ considerably from one place to another. Almost every Des Moines restaurant that serves steak serves a de burgo variant. A few others in Iowa do, too. It’s pretty much unheard of outside Iowa. (The big exception is that Eric Ziebold, who has won James Beard Awards on both coasts — French Laundry and City Zen — makes a deconstructed version. He is an Ames native.) It does resemble “Greek style” or “zip sauce” steak of Detroit and Mason City, and steak with chimichurri in the southwest, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, but it is its own thing.

It’s also a dish that inspires good arguments. The oldest version that we have found in our 30-plus years of research came from the menu of Vic’s Tally Ho before World War II. To this day, people debate whether it was invented by Johnny Compiano of Johnny & Kay’s or Vic Talerico of Vic’s Tally Ho. Both men grew up in the Francis Avenue neighborhood of north Des Moines. That area was far more cosmopolitan than the mostly Calabrese southside. European immigrants came there from all parts of the old continent. The Spanish Civil War chased many to America. It also saw the traditional olive oil, garlic and herb sauce of Catalunya and Valencia outlawed by General Franco, as Catalunya and Valencia were the centers of opposition to his dictatorship. Since Franco headquartered in Burgos,
it has been theorized that clever Catalonians changed their aoili’s name rather than its recipe. Perhaps this spread to Francis Avenue and inspired Vic and Johnny to their great creation.

Vic’s son is Jerry Talerico, who began the Sam & Gabe’s restaurants that carried forth his father’s recipe, with butter substituted for olive oil. That is common now. The late Henry Schneider of Iowa Beef Steak House and The Pier explained that this way: “Iowans like the flavor of butter better. Plus, it’s cheaper.” Talerico sold Sam & Gabe’s a few years ago, and it’s been resold. The recipe has changed with cream being added at one time. They have gone back to the original recipe, though. They also serve de burgo chicken wings. Cream sauce de burgo is a Greek American invention that originated at Johnny’s Vet’s Club in Des Moines. Both it and chicken de burgo are quite popular in Des Moines now. Some restaurants (Rusty Duck) even serve both styles, butter and cream.

Steak is Iowa’s heritage dish. The aroma of freshly cut meat searing quickly over an open flame is a primal scent — one that encouraged our human progenitors to straighten their spines, walk on two legs, fashion spears, and invent fire. During the second half of the 19th century, beef steak became an international obsession and status food. It transformed the American range into the world’s largest feed lot. Between the Civil War and 1880, Midwest cattle populations increased 30 times over. Because Iowa’s fertile soil grew the most grain, the state’s fatted cows produced the gold standard of this new food economy at a time when food drove all economies.

For a century, the status of Iowa beef extended to New York City steakhouses and beyond. In 1959, Des Moines’ Harry Bookey, then 11, told Russian Premiere Nikita Khrushchev that the U.S.S.R. might have an edge in satellite technology, but our beef was superior. Khrushchev, a staunch Russian chauvinist, conceded the point to the young debater. Coincidentally, Bookey would become both a lawyer and a restaurateur in Des Moines.

When Khrushchev visited Des Moines, Iowa beef represented the culmination of one of the great romances in the histories of both agriculture and human migration. After Europeans got word about the fertility of Iowa’s black soil, immigrants flocked across oceans, mountains and hostile forests to realize the American dream of owning land from which they could make a good life. By the end of the 19th century, they had made Iowa a rich state built on fields of grain and pastures of plenty. That wealth was sustainable and a source of pride. Fields produced corn in such abundance that farmers fed it to cattle that grazed their youth away in clover. Those corn-finished cows moved short distances to packers and lockers. Our steaks were Iowan from birth to aging rooms and famous for their superior marbling.

By 1970, about 70 percent of Iowa farmers were raising cattle. Iowa led the nation in beef production between World War II and the 1980s, peaking in 1969 at seven million head. Big changes came in the 1980s. Because fossil fuels became cheaper and Iowa farm land more expensive, it was more economical for packers to ship grain out west and finish cattle there. Former cattle ranches in Iowa were plowed over and planted with government-subsidized corn and beans. By the end of the 20th century, most industrial beef came from multiple plants, multiple states and even multiple continents.

Today less than a fourth of Iowa farmers raise cattle. Our feedlot population sets a post-World War II low almost every year. Iowa has slipped to the No. 9 cattle state, trailing six states with large tracts of cheap, open range, plus Missouri and Kentucky.

As the center of the beef universe moved west from Iowa, the aura of our steakhouse traditions grew like
nostalgia at a class reunion. These old culinary symbols of Iowa represented the proud final link of the great 19th and 20th century food chain that stretched from Iowa cornfields and cattle barns to the dining rooms of the best-fed people in world history. Steakhouses became touchstones to a collective longing for halcyon days when corn was used for the sustenance of superior livestock, not to fuel cars, sweeten soft drinks or add cheap filler to practically every processed item one can find in a supermarket.

Steakhouses are also touchstones to the farms and small towns from which many of Des Moines-area families moved. Three-fourths of Iowa counties peaked in population more than 110 years ago while the Des Moines area grew continuously. Steakhouses used to cover the state. In smaller towns, they often became surrogate country clubs and were the nicest places in entire counties for people to celebrate special occasions of life. Archie’s Waeside in Le Mars became a bona fide foodie legend with its dry aging room, two James Beard Awards, a garden and nearby landing strip for private planes.

Today steakhouse status is as high as ever in Iowa, and de burgo is the main reason. So raise a glass of Zinfandel (the all-American wine and steak’s perfect mate) and let the rest of Des Moines know what you think is the ultimate place for de burgo. ♦


These are this year’s entrants in the Ultimate Food Challenge.

2301 Rocklyn Drive, Urbandale

Irina’s is a Russian restaurant with Russian dishes like pork shaslik, salmon Wellington, beef strogonof and chicken Kiev balanced with American dishes like rack of lamb, Alaskan halibut and Iowa duck. The appetizer menu is more European with several dishes of mussels, clams, shrimp and calamari starring. Steak de burgo is the superstar here. Irina’s version is made with two medallions of tenderloin in a buttery sauce with a touch of cream, herbs and garlic. The restaurant also has the best vodka collection in Iowa, with flight deals on some occasions. The carrot cake stars on the dessert menu.

150 South Jordan Creek Parkway, West Des Moines

Fleming’s is an all prime, aged steakhouse from Paul Fleming, who is also the P.F. in P.F. Chang’s. Everything here is lavish, from the seafood towers that include lobster, king crab, shrimp cocktails and tuna poke, to truffle poached lobster with caviar, Kurobuta pork tenderloins and gargantuan wine cellars. Steaks are offered with several different butters and classic European sauces, plus de burgo. You can order any cut from a petite filet to the 20-ounce ribeye. Miso glazed sea bass stars on the beyond steak menu.

8631 Hickman Road, Urbandale
Sam & Gabe’s at the Lyon
600 E. Fifth St., Des Moines

The menu calls it “the original,” and we do not dispute that. Their de burgo is made with butter, basil and garlic with medallions of tenderloin. They now have two locations — one in Urbandale and a new one in The Lyon in East Village. Both feature live music. The Lyon has great views. Pasta is a strong suit here, with Sophia a local icon. Veal, salmon and halibut also liven up the non-steak menu.

1378 E. Hickman Road, Waukee

This new player in Waukee evolved from a food truck. They are the only local place regularly offering wagyu beef, from Lost Hills Farm in Lucas. Wagyu is the cow from which Kobe beef is made. It’s known for being highly marbled, flavored and tender. Their cows are pampered, having only one bad day in their lives. Gastro serves de burgo poutine and a menu of trendy foods like roast cauliflower, bone marrow with bacon jam, fried brussels sprouts and truffle fries.

11865 Hickman Road, Urbandale

The Range is another new dining room and sports bar with a hook — and a slice. You can rent a simulated golf range and play 18 holes on the world’s most famous courses. If this were a clubhouse, it would be an exclusive one with an upscale menu that includes Niman Ranch pork, prime aged beef, bison, elk and scallops. There is white wine in the creamy de burgo here, and it can be ordered with any entrée.

410 S. Ankeny Blvd., Ankeny

Yanni’s is a Greek and Italian place that serves souvlaki, spanakopita, moussaka, dolmades and gyros of both lamb and chicken, as well as lasagna and six other pasta, several homemade. They host a popular buffet five days a week that costs less than $10. Their steak de burgo is made in wine with garlic, mushrooms and basil sauce. They include a generous 10 ounces of medallions. Shrimp, chicken, veal, walleye and mahi mahi also appear on an eclectic menu.

3825 121st St., Urbandale

Mama Lacona’s is one of the traditional Calabrese eateries of Des Moines and is now located in a gorgeous venue of Italian marble and state-of-the-art window technologies. Probably most famous for their pasta and pizza, Mama’s serves chicken versions of saltimbocca, spedini and marsala. Their de burgo includes two 5-ounce medallions in a garlic butter sauce of mushrooms. They feature early bird specials.

723 Marshall St., Dexter

This popular destination dining legend in Dexter has been packing folks in for pasta, pork loins, Italian fried chicken, seafood and award-winning burgers. Rather than disappoint half of central Iowa’s de burgo fans, they make it both ways — with a garlic cream sauce or a butter and wine sauce with garlic and basil. Both are huge full-pound servings of tenderloin.

2816 Beaver Ave., Des Moines

Christopher’s is another of the oldest Calabrese restaurants still thriving despite fires, floods, embezzlers and other unlucky setbacks. Famous for 10-hour roasted prime rib and pan-fried chicken, pasta and pizza, they have anchored fine dining in Beaverdale since 1963. They make their de burgo with the garlic cream sauce in Italian herbs.

1311 Grand Ave., West Des Moines

Maxie’s is a traditional steakhouse that has been around the metro for six decades. Tradition here means
specialization in things that meant more to America six decades ago — pink squirrels, grasshoppers, silver clouds, brandy Alexanders, pork tenderloins, scratch-made strawberry shortcake, open-faced steak sandwiches, thin onion rings (that keep winning Best of Des Moines awards), cavatelli, spaghetti and meatballs, daily specials for lunch and dinner, and discounts for Happy Hour. Their de burgo is made with butter, Italian herbs and lots of garlic. As of press time, it was a Thursday-only special.

1 Prairie Meadows Drive, Altoona

Prairie Meadows’ AJ’s Steakhouse moved its vibe a few years ago from traditional to modern, with blue lights and
sleek designs. It’s still a traditional place to eat, especially after some good luck. The menu is still full of old-time
favorites like big shrimp cocktails, wedge salads and Caesar salads, slow-roasted prime rib, broasted chicken, surf and turf, and cold water lobster. Their de burgo is made with white wine and cream. They offer a de burgo trio that
includes beef tenderloin, chicken breast and shrimp.

1903 Beaver Ave., Des Moines

A Beaverdale neighborhood bar, Chef’s Kitchen rocks the creamy de burgo three ways. Owner-chef Steve Little
was the chef at Johnny’s Vet’s Club before he opened his own place. He learned the “Greek” de burgo there and now uses it with both chicken breast and portobella as well as beef tenderloin. Chef’s is legendary for their hashed browned potatoes, so much so that their fans pushed them to open for breakfast on weekends. They also are well known for their pot roast sliders, eggplant lasagna, Greek salad and clam chowder.

1375 S.W. Vintage Parkway, Ankeny

District 36 is a relatively new player in Ankeny with a big wine and beer list and a slightly off-beat menu. They
make walleye breaded in potato flakes, Australian sea bass with avocado and corn salsa, etoufee with calamari,
and short ribs glazed with root beer and cherry stout. Their de burgo uses sirloin instead of tenderloin and is rolled in peppercorns. Candy bar pie and Snickers bread pudding keep the menu eccentric through dessert.

2200 Hubbell Ave., Des Moines

Tursi’s has been serving the east side since 1947, originally with dishes of Little Italy in New York but becoming more Calabrese as the years went by. They are most famous for the chicken spiedini, a marinated, floured and broiled chicken breast served in a sauce much like de burgo. They still make chicken livers three ways. Their de burgo is the butter version. Veal, shrimp, pasta and rich tomato sauces keep the place busy. ♦

The Obsessive Chef

We received a complimentary copy of Cook’s Country magazine last week. There’s some good looking stuff in it. I made two of its recipes last night. The steak recipe was a serendipitous find in that I had snared two beautiful rib eyes from the manager’s special bin at Safeway at 50% off!

Both of these recipes were prepared pretty much verbatim. It’s not my habit to be led along by the nose, but I could see no reason to make modifications for a first-time try.

Steak de Burgo
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
2 rib eye steaks (about 1” thick)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large garlic clove, peeled and halved
1/8 cup (2 tbsp) white wine
1 tbsp unsalted cold butter, cut into pieces
1 tbsp heavy cream
1 additional tsp dried oregano

Cut out the center of the rib eye (the part that looks about the size of a filet mignon). Save the rest of the meat for another purpose. Wrap a piece of kitchen string around each filet so that they will hold their shape.

Mix together the oregano, garlic powder and salt and pepper in a small bowl. Dry the filets thoroughly and rub them with the dry spices.

Heat oil in a cast iron skillet until it starts to smoke. Cook steaks 3 – 4 minutes per side, according to your preference. Transfer to a plate and tent with foil.

Add garlic clove to skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine and scrape bottom of the pan. Cook about 1 minute. Whisk in butter, cream, and remaining oregano. Cook about 1 minute. Discard garlic, season as desired with salt and pepper, pour over meat, and serve.

Steakhouse hash browns
3 lbs. russet potatoes (about 3 large), peeled and cut into 1/2” chunks.
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon salt
½ tsp pepper
4 tbsp vegetable oil

Bring potatoes and enough water to cover by 1” to boil in a pot over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until tender but not falling apart, 20 – 25 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to pot (off heat) let stand 5 minutes.

Transfer 1 cup potatoes to a bowl and toss with butter. Mash until smooth and then gently combine with remaining potato chunks. Mix in salt and pepper.

Adjust oven rack to upper position (about 4” inches below broiler element) and heat broiler. Invert a rimmed baking sheet and coat lightly with cooking spray. Heat 3 tbsp oil in 10” nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add potatoes and lightly pat into a circle. Cook until bottom is crusty and golden brown, 7 to 9 minutes.

Slide potatoes out of skillet onto prepared baking sheet with browned side down. Brush top with remaining oil and broil until deep golden brown, 10 to 14 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes, then cardfully slide onto platter. Cut into wedges and serve.

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Good recipe for Steak DeBurgo?

Oops! Duh on my part. I didn't realize you were the first to reply. I bet he would love for you to make it for him!

Legacy Member

Kitchen Diva

Legend Member

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 clove garlic -- minced
1/2 teaspoon dried whole basil
2 large fresh mushrooms -- fluted
2 tablespoons butter
2 tenderloin steaks -- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch
Freshly ground pepper
2 thick slices French bread -- toasted

Saute garlic, basil, and mushrooms in butter in a large skillet until garlic is browned and mushrooms are tender remove mushrooms, and set aside. Sprinkle both sides of steaks with salt and pepper. Add steak to skillet cook over medium high heat 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. To serve, place steak on bread top each serving with a mushroom. Spoon pan drippings over steaks, and serve immediately.



Can't help on the recipe, but here is some history:

Steak de Burgo is a featured steak on many Des Moines area restaurants – a regional specialty. It’s a traditional steak dish – usually a beef tenderloin – topped with butter, Italian herbs and garlic.

History (according to W.E. Moranville, of the Datebook Diner, Des Moines Register, September 4, 1997): a 1964 Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook, “Famous Food From Famous Places,” lists Steak de Burgo as a specialty of the house at Johnny and Kay’s Restaurant in Des Moines (no longer open).

Tom Campiano, son of Johnny and Kay, says his father brought the recipe up from New Orleans, where he was stationed during the war. When he opened Johnny and Kay’s in 1946, it became a popular house specialty.

Compiano adds that chefs who worked for his father would often take the recipe with them when they opened places of their own. Hence, the proliferation of Steak de Burgo in Des Moines, the theory goes.

Another famous Des Moines restaurant, Johnnie’s Vets Club had their own version of Steak de Burgo."

Watch the video: Fillet Mignon Recipe - How to make perfect Fillet Mignon Steaks


  1. Sketes

    Your idea is brilliant

  2. Cinnard

    No conversations!

  3. Digal

    Bravo, the excellent answer.

  4. Ahuiliztli

    Said in confidence.

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