Morton's Restaurant Group, Inc. owns and operates Morton's of Chicago, a high-end steakhouse restaurant chain aimed at a business clientele, and Bertolini's Authentic Trattorias, a smaller chain offering Italian specialties in a casual dining atmosphere. At the end of 1998 Morton's Restaurant Group owned and operated 43 Morton's of Chicago and 12 Bertolini's units. All Morton's of Chicago restaurants were similar in style, concept, and decor, and were located in retail, hotel, commercial, and office building complexes in major metropolitan areas and urban centers. Catering primarily to business-oriented clients, Morton's of Chicago had an average per person check of about $65 in 1998. The Bertolini's restaurants offered white tablecloth service, with an average per person check of about $20. Morton's Restaurant Group also held a minority of stock in two other restaurant chains, Mick's and Peasant.
Morton's Steakhouse Recipe
4 thick slices of white bread
14 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup Cognac
1 1/2 cups veal demi-glace*
2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 1/3 cups whipping cream
20 oz cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced about 3/16" thick
4 filet mignons, each at least 1 1/4" thick
salt and pepper
chopped fresh Italian parsley, for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lay the bread slices on a work surface and using a water glass, cut out four 3" rounds. Transfer to a baking sheet and and bake, turning once, about 5-7 minutes until the croutons are lightly golden and crisp. Cool on wire rack.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoon of butter. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Add the wine and the Cognac, raise the heat to medium-high and simmer uncovered for 8-10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the demi-glace, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and then add the cream. Return the sauce to a boil and reduce the sauce, whisking often, for about 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken to a creamy consistency and deepen to an auburn color.
In a large saute pan, melt the remaining 12 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute about 5 minutes until the mushrooms begin to release their moisture and start to soften. Stir the sauce into the mushrooms and heat over a low heat until gently simmering. Let the sauce continue to simmer over low heat 12-15 minutes, until it's reduced and slightly thickened.
Cover and keep warm over very low heat until ready to serve.
Remove the steaks from the fridge and let them rest at room temperature 30-60 minutes. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Preheat broiler or set oven to 425 degrees. Cook steaks 5-6 minutes per side for rare, 6-7 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until the desired degree of doneness.
To serve, place a filet on top of each crouton. Ladle some of the sauce over the steaks and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.