Jamaica The Complete Book of Caribbean Cooking

Port Antonio Beefsteak (Jamaica)

Continental craft meets Caribbean flavour in this Jamaican steak and compound butter recipe from Elizabeth Ortiz’s “The Complete Book of Caribbean Cooking” (1973).

As I mentioned in my review for “Port Royal Lamb Shanks” I believe that these two dishes originate from the same source, most probably Trident Villas & Hotel in Port Antonio (which still exists to this day). Port Antonio was a magnet for the rich and famous during Hollywood’s hey day including actors like Errol Flynn and Audrey Hepburn. Vanity Fair has an excellent article all about it here. All this to say, a hotel like the Trident would be exactly the place that would cater their menus to suit the tastes of their guests. Transforming the rustic flavours of Jamaica for a more elegant Western dining experience. However, where the “Port Royal Lamb Shanks” seemed to miss the mark, this “Port Antonio Beefsteak” finds that happy balance perfectly.

This dish is a pretty straightforward broiled steak garnished with a compound butter. Something you would be apt to find in any French bistro or any popular steak house around the world. What makes this dish special is its twist on the popular Beurre Maitre d’Hotel, the classic compound butter of parsley and lemon. This recipe swaps out the lemon for the popular Caribbean lime and adds a rum-shallot reduction to the mix. One could call it a “Planter’s Punch” cold compound. The result is fantastic. A perfectly cooked steak is always going to draw serious accolades from the eaters in my house, but when I’m able to surprise them with a new twist that’s the greatest pleasure I could ask for.

Ingredients

  1. Steaks
  2. 6 tbsp Jamaican Rum
  3. 2 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
  4. 1/4 cup butter
  5. 1 tbsp lime juice
  6. 2 tbsp parsley

Directions

  1. Simmer rum and shallots with salt and pepper until reduced by half.
  2. Let cool.
  3. Mix with butter, lime juice, and parsley.
  4. Mold into small ramekins and chill.
  5. Cook steak to desired doneness and garnish with rum butter.