Surf ‘n’ Turf: Crayfish and Flat Iron Steak with Bisque Béarnaise

, from Issue #87. November, 2019
Photography by Todd Eyre.
Surf ‘n’ Turf: Crayfish and Flat Iron Steak with Bisque Béarnaise
Surf 'n' Turf

Gareth Stewart, dish columnist and executive chef of the Nourish Group’s Jervois Steak House, shares his recipe for Surf ‘n’ Turf. 

Serves: 4


1 whole crayfish 

Bisque Reduction
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 shallots, sliced
½ carrot, peeled, sliced
40 grams butter
1 tablespoon tomato paste
5 vine-ripened tomatoes, halved
½ cup each brandy and white wine
500ml each fish stock and chicken stock
1 bay leaf

1 small bunch fresh chervil
½ cup white wine vinegar
1 small shallot, sliced 1
50 grams clarified butter
3 egg yolks
sea salt and ground pepper
pinch cayenne pepper

800 grams flat iron steak, trimmed of any silverskin or sinew
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1 tablespoon butter
1 sprig thyme
3 cloves garlic
flaky salt, to serve

Christmas is such a special time of year and I love to mark it by cooking up something special – this next-level surf ‘n’ turf fits the bill. Crayfish are one of the stars of our world-class Kiwi kaimoana so it makes for a fantastic celebratory meal. I like to show such a delicacy respect by using it all up – the shells give the béarnaise sauce a full-bodied flavour. Served with a juicy steak it’s a winner of a dish.



Blanch the crayfish in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 3 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.

Once cool, remove the legs and pull out all the meat. Remove the tail, split it down the centre and then cut the halves in two again so that you have four pieces for serving. Remove the meat and dice. Reserve the empty tail for serving. Chop the crayfish head into small manageable pieces and reserve.


Heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil in a small pot. Add the shallots and carrots and cook for a couple of minutes to caramelise, then drain in a small colander and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the remaining tablespoon of canola oil then add the chopped crayfish head and any extra shell pieces and caramelise. After 3 minutes add the butter and continue to roast in the pot. Return the caramelised carrot and shallot to the pot along with the tomato paste and fresh tomato. Continue to caramelise everything for another 3-4 minutes before deglazing with brandy, followed by the wine and then both the stocks. The liquid should just be covering the shells. Add the bay leaf.

Cook this for up to 30-45 minute before pulsing in a blender. Pass the liquid through a muslin-lined strainer into a saucepan. Cook the liquid over a medium-high heat until it is reduced to a really thick glaze. This could take 15 minutes depending on the size of your saucepan.


Pick 2 tablespoons chervil leaves, reserving the stalks. Chop the picked chervil leaves and set aside. Reserve the remaining chervil for garnish.

Place the vinegar, shallot and chervil stalks in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until the vinegar reduces by half. Set aside to cool.

Melt the clarified butter, either in a small saucepan or in the microwave, and set aside in a jug.

In a metal bowl combine 2 tablespoons of the reduced vinegar-shallot mixture with the egg yolks. Set the metal bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water – make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water – and whisk the yolks until light, fluffy and thick ribbons are formed. Slowly pour the warm butter into the cooked eggs – be careful not to add the butter too fast as this will split the béarnaise. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.

Whisk the reduced bisque glaze into the béarnaise and add the reserved chervil leaves. Fold the chopped crayfish meat through the béarnaise then divide between the reserved shells.


Season the steak well and drizzle liberally with extra virgin olive oil.

Heat a large skillet or frypan until it is really hot and add the steak. Sear for approximately 4-5 minutes on each side. Add the butter, thyme and garlic to the pan.

Baste the steak in the foaming butter for another 2-3 minutes, until cooked – the internal temperature for the cooked steak should be 49-51°C. Set the steak aside to rest for 10 minutes. Reserve the pan.

To serve: Roll the steak around in the pan it was cooked in to reheat it.

Carve the steak into thin slices and present on a board or serving dish.

Re-season the meat with a pinch of flaky salt and add filled crayfish shells to the board or dish. Garnish with extra fresh chervil to finish. Serves 4