International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Carpetbag Steak

Carpetbag steak with asparagus and potatoes

(Australian, New Zealander oyster-stuffed steak)

Image © iStockphoto

Average: 2.6 (5 votes)

For over-the-top taste and low-effort luxe, nothing can beat carpetbag steak, a dish popular in Australia and New Zealand in the mid-20th century. Prime-cut steak is stuffed with fresh oysters for a luscious melding of flavors. Make carpetbag steak as a special meal to impress family, friends or a new romantic interest.

4 servings


  • Thick-cut beef filets mignon or New York strip steaks -- 4
  • Oysters, cleaned and shucked -- 8 to 10
  • Worcestershire sauce -- 1/4 cup
  • Lemon juice -- 2 tablespoons
  • Salt and pepper -- to season
  • Oil -- 3 tablespoons
  • Cognac or brandy (optional) -- 1/4 cup
  • Beef stock -- 1 cup
  • Butter, room temperature -- 4 tablespoons


  1. Using a thin boning knife, cut a small incision into the side of each steak just big enough to insert the oysters. Move the knife back and forth inside each steak to create a pocket.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the oysters, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and salt and pepper to season. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Pour a little of the marinade into each pocket and stuff each steak with 2 or 3 oysters. Secure the opening with toothpicks and let the steaks rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium-high flame until it just starts to smoke. Season each steak with salt and pepper. Sear the steaks in the hot oil, letting them cook for about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. If you like your steaks more well done, reduce the flame to medium and cook for another 2 minutes for medium or another 4 to 6 minutes for well done.
  5. Place the steaks on warm plates while you make the sauce. Remove the skillet or saute pan from the flame and carefully pour in the cognac or brandy. Return the pan to medium flame and heat, scraping up any bits from the bottom, until almost evaporated. Then add the beef stock and simmer to reduce its volume by about 1/2. Remove from heat, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and whisk in the butter.
  6. Serve the steaks with a little of the sauce poured over each.

Carpetbag Steak Variations

  • Grilling Your Steaks Instead: For a fancy barbecue, grill your carpetbag steak instead of pan searing it. You won't be able to make the sauce at the end, but the smoky flavor of the grill will more than make up for it.


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