Father's Day steak

This Sunday, June 17, is the special day we have set aside to honor our fathers. Planning something special to treat Dad is on the agenda for many families, and today we are looking at some special menu options. 

Some type of a beef option is frequently one of the favorites to serve for Father’s Day. To make the dinner extra-special, serve up these tenderloin steaks wrapped in bacon. For serving, the steak is paired with a flavorful red wine mushroom sauce. Rather than firing up the grill, bring out your cast-iron skillet to sear the steaks, and then finish them off in the oven.  

Bacon-Wrapped Tenderloin Steaks (Servings: 6)


9 slices thick-cut bacon

6 (8-ounce) beef tenderloin fillets (about 2½-inches thick)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Red wine mushroom sauce (recipe follows)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Place bacon on prepared pan.  Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool slightly; cut 3 slices in half crosswise. Sprinkle steaks all over with salt and pepper. Wrap each in 1½ slices bacon, securing with wooden picks. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat until hot. Add butter and steaks.  Cook for 2 minutes; turn steaks and place skillet in oven.  Bake until a meat thermometer inserted in center registers 135 degrees for medium, 8 to 10 minutes for medium, or until desired doneness. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes; serve with red wine mushroom sauce.  

Red Wine Mushroom Sauce (makes about 2 cups)


¼ cup unsalted butter

2 shallots, thinly sliced

1 pound fresh baby portobello mushrooms, sliced

½ cup dry red wine

½ cup Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme


In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallots; cook until softened and fragrant; about 2 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, wine, Worcestershire, and thyme; cook over medium-high heat until sauce is reduced and mushrooms are softened, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Source: Cooking with Paula Deen Magazine, May/June 2018.

If you have anglers in the family, how about preparing a special dinner featuring some of the family’s catch? This recipe for preparing trout is one representing Montana in “The Best of the Best Cookbook” by Gwen McKee and Barbara Mosely. The women selected the recipe for Blodgett Lake Stuffed Trout from the Montana cookbook, “Bitterroot Favorites and Montana Memories." Blodgett Lake is near Hamilton.     

Blodgett Lake Stuffed Trout (serves: 4)


 4 trout, cleaned

1 tablespoon butter

4 slices bacon, cooked and cut into 1-inch pieces

4 green onions, sliced thin

2 mushrooms, sliced

1 tablespoon lemon butter*

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground red pepper

2 tablespoons white wine

1 lemon, sliced thin


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put trout in greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish; set aside. Melt butter in skillet and sauté bacon pieces, green onions and mushrooms. Drain off fat. Stuff the trout with bacon mixture. Brush top of trout with lemon butter. Sprinkle cumin and red pepper on top of trout; pour wine on sides. Place lemon slices on top of trout and bake for 30 minutes.  Serve hot with steamed rice, rice pilaf, or to make the dinner extra-special, serve the fish with the layered rice that is served at the Continental Divide Restaurant & Bistro in Ennis (recipe follows).

*To make lemon butter, mix equal parts lemon juice and melted butter.

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Layered Rice (serves: 8)


1 cup jasmine rice

1 cup red rice

1 cup wild rice

3 cups water for each cup rice

3 tablespoons butter

Kosher salt


Cook the three rices separately according to package directions (1 cup rice to 2 cups water is the general ratio, but some types of rice need more water). Remember to let the rice rest for at least 10 minutes after cooking. We are looking for sticky rice. Finish each pot of rice with 1 tablespoon of butter and salt to taste. To present the rice, lightly spray eight ramekins or espresso cups with cooking spray. At a steep angle, press in layers of rice one color at a time until the cups are full. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm oven (180 degrees to 200 degrees) until serving, or reheat in a microwave when ready to serve. To unmold, place a cup upside-down on a plate and tap lightly. Source: “A Taste of Montana, Favorite Recipes from Big Sky Country” by Seabring Davis.

Many dads would love a special chocolate treat for Father’s Day. While watching “The Pioneer Woman” with Ree Drumond on Saturday morning, I was interested in the spicy fudge recipe on the program that was featuring chocolate treats. The combination of chocolate and the heat from the chipotle peppers imparts a special taste, and the topping of sea salt adds to the flavor combination. The recipe calls for milk chocolate chips, but I prefer the dark chocolate or bittersweet chocolate chips instead. I have used a combination of the two flavors. If more heat is desired, additional peppers and adobo sauce can be added.

Chipotle Fudge


Coconut oil spray, for the foil

3 cups chocolate chips

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1 – 2 canned chipotle peppers, very finely chopped, plus 1 teaspoon adobo sauce

Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling


Line 8-inch square pan with foil and smooth the surface. Spray foil with coconut oil spray. Combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and chopped chipotle pepper and adobo sauce in top of double boiler over medium heat. Heat, stirring, until melted and smooth. Immediately pour the mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing surface. Sprinkle the top with sea salt. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. After removing from refrigerator, lift foil from pan, removing fudge; cut into squares. Source: Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.         

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Bernie Mason writes the Local Flavor column for Lee Montana Newspapers. She was a Yellowstone County extension agent for 24 years. Mason grew up in Sidney in a family of German and Danish ancestry.


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