Iowa Beef medallions ala “Harker”

Submitted By:
Michael LaVelle


  • Two 3-4 oz beef (I often substitute elk or venison) tenderloin medallions per person
  • 2 oz of mango chutney per steak
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Melted butter, red wine and cognac to flambe if you’re “flamboyant”!


Crack and press the black pepper into one side of each meat medallion while your drawn butter is heating up in the heaviest skillet you have.

Place the medallions pepper side down in the bubbling butter and cook halfway to desired doneness.

Flip the steaks and with the pepper crusted side up liberally top them with spooned on Chutney.

If the skillet is getting too hot and splattering excessively, splash sparingly some red wine around the steaks and as it reduces tip the pan rearward and spoon the collected sauce over the top of the steaks.

You’re probably at medium rare doneness now so pour 2-3 oz of brandy in the rear of the pan and tilting the skillet side towards the flame below prepare yourself for a celebratory burst of flames!

Continue spooning the sauce gently over the steaks and as the flames subside remover the steaks to the waiting plates.

Add more wine to the skillet and deglaze and reduce to half its volume or a bit shiny, whisking in a bit of butter off the flame to finish the sauce.

With the steaks now plated chutney side u,  spoon the resulting pan sauce over the top and serve.

Copyright 2022 LaValle Hospitality Group

Describe the connection this recipe has to your family and/or heritage.

Its 1978 and I was a young Maitre d’ at the Embassy Club. One of our Members who owned a meat company in LeMars, Iowa invited the GM Mr. Oley Hrdlicka and myself to visit his processing plant. The owner Jack Harker was a true gourmand with an affinity for French cuisine. As we boarded the private plane he sent for us at the Des Moines airport, our palates were poised to enjoy the feast his French Chef friend from the Hotel Sofitel in Minneapolis had prepared for us.

That exceptional lunch menu with the finest wines and cognacs I will never forget, (thankfully we weren’t driving), but I also won’t forget this simple tableside meat recipe Jack demonstrated to us and graced the Embassy Club menu for many years.

This is an adaptation of your basic Steak au Poivre but with the sweet Chutney zing and black pepper heat, with your choice of quality protein, this simple amalgamated pan sauce is a quick satisfying weapon in any cook’s repertoire. You can do it. Afte all, we used to prepare this tableside on a little cart!