You might have seen it on menus or praised on cooking shows. But what is Oscar-style steak, exactly? The story of this luxurious dish begins with Oscar Frederik, aka Oscar II, who was a 19th century King of Sweden. 

When he wasn’t on king duty, he was also a poet, the founder of the world’s first open-air museum, and a sponsor of many Arctic expeditions (he even has an entire area of glaciers named after him, “Oscar II Land” to be exact). Clearly, this guy had a lot going on. But while Oscar might have had eclectic tastes and talents, he invented a culinary legend that we all can thank him for: Steak, Oscar-style. 

King of Sweden, Oscar II, the history behind the Oscar-style steak.

What is Oscar-style steak? 

It seems King Oscar had rather a taste for a perfect cut of veal, topped with crab meat, butter sauce, and two white spears of asparagus. Over time, the teeming masses replaced the veal with steak and even, in some variations, with chicken. (But Texans love a good steak, so we’ll stick with that, thank ya kindly.) 

Nowadays, Oscar-style steak is typically made using filet mignon, beef tenderloin, or a similar cut of meat. It is topped with an emulsified butter sauce (such as Bernaise or Hollandaise) and either jumbo lump crab or lobster meat. Then, of course, there is the adornment of two fresh asparagus spears. 

But there is more than meets the eye to this decadent dish. Let’s take a closer look.

Raw cut of steak sits on a silver platter.

Why is Oscar-style steak traditionally topped with white asparagus? 

White asparagus is grown under dark conditions, so it never takes on the green color of traditional asparagus. In terms of flavor, it is more tender than your average asparagus spear. And because it is harder to grow, it is considered a rarity. This makes it more prized; a couple of white asparagus tips might just be the ultimate luxury topping for your Oscar-style steak. 

White, purple, and green asparagus sit on a wood plate.

What’s the Difference Between Hollandaise and Béarnaise Sauce?

Hollandaise is one of those classic French sauces that every chef must know. An egg yolk mixture emulsified with butter and acid (typically lemon juice), it is the foundation of so many other sauces. This is part of the reason they call it a “mother sauce.” And one of those sauces is Bernaise sauce, which adds a bit of vinegar, tarragon, and shallot.

But if you want to put a bit of a Texas-style twist on your Oscar-style steak, we recommend adding a bit of spice. It is easy to give your Hollandaise sauce a little kick with cayenne pepper, but we prefer Tabasco. Check out this spicy Hollandaise sauce recipe from The Recipe Website for instructions!  

Dish of Hollandaise sauce sits next to a package of eggs.

Two of our favorite “steak Oscar” recipes. 

Delmonico’s has a long and storied relationship with steak. After all, their mid-19th century slabs of thickly-cut slabs of steak gave them the kind of staying power that lasted for decades. Emeril Lagasse has continued the Delmonico tradition, and his Oscar-style steak recipe is classic. 

But if you are looking for a bit of Texan flair, try out this recipe from Taste of Texas. It includes a bit of Tobasco, and we think you will appreciate the kick it gives the classic dish. 

Craving a special dinner at home in Austin? 

What is Oscar-style steak if you have to spend hours cooking it? A lot of unnecessary work, that’s what! 

Want to serve a divine dinner without all the cooking and clean-up? The Austin Artisan has you covered. We don’t just specialize in Oscar-style steak, either. From Beef Wellington to Apricot-Braised Pork Shoulder and beyond, we love cooking up decadent dishes. 

The Austin Artisan’s Beef Wellington.

And we don’t think they should be a once-a-week kind of thing, either. With our weekly meal delivery services, you can have these kinds of gourmet dishes for dinner every night. If that sounds like a dream come true, that’s because IT IS! Give us a call at  (512) 436-2401 or check out our food profile to explore the possibilities.