[Lindsey Bartosh]

Years ago, I went to a Valentine’s Day dinner at Sorrel River Ranch. It was a fancy affair lit by little dancing candle flames and light soothing background music. The meal was four courses, with an appetizer course of delicious soup, a deeply rich chocolate dessert, crunchy homemade bread that warmed your hands when plucked from the basket, and the main course of lobster tails and filet mignon. I loved every minute of it.

I shared the evening with my sister and brother-in-law. We all like food, and this meal had us raving and reviewing to each other with each bite: this bread has the perfect crust, this lobster tail is sweet and tender, this steak is perfectly cooked and seasoned. While we had opinions on everything, our conversation basically came to a halt when we tried the balsamic reduction paired with the filet mignon. 

It was the most incredible sauce I had ever tasted. It was a blend of tangy, just a tad sweet, and decadently rich. I almost felt embarrassed when I found myself dragging my finger through the remaining sauce on the plate in an almost desperate attempt to not leave a drop. I almost felt embarrassed, until I looked around the suddenly quiet table where everyone was mopping up their plate as well.

The silence was broken by my sister with the comment of “what was that?”

We all enthusiastically burst into a roar of opinions. No one seemed to have a good definition of what the sauce was other than amazing. And that we all wanted more.

When the waiter returned to clear the table, we all simultaneously bombarded him with questions about the sauce. He invited the chef out to receive our compliments and answer our questions. The chef’s response was: “It was just a balsamic reduction.”

Upon leaving the restaurant and attempting to recreate the “just a balsamic reduction,” I quickly learned it was more than a simple reduction. Something vital to the success of the sauce was missing. I spent almost three years trying out different types of vinegar, wines, herbs, and fruits. I experimented over and over, and finally, one day I hit what I felt was a winner. The secret ingredient had been blueberries for that “just a balsamic reduction” recipe. 


  • 4 elk steaks, cut 2 inches thick

Blueberry balsamic reduction

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 pint blueberries
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Gorgonzola cream sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Blueberry sauce

1. Heat a saucepan over medium-low heat and melt butter. Once melted, add shallots and cook until softened, about three minutes.

2. Pour in pint of blueberries and simmer over medium heat until berries have popped and sauce begins to form, about five minutes.

3. Add balsamic vinegar and bring to boil. Reduce sauce by half, about five minutes.

4. Add red wine and fresh thyme. Continue to reduce sauce, again by half, about five minutes.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve over the steak.

Gorgonzola cream sauce

1. Heat butter in saucepan over medium-low heat. Add shallots once butter has melted. Cook until shallots are soft, about three minutes.

2. Add heavy cream and bring to a very light boil. Reduce cream by half or until it has reached your desired consistency.

3. Add gorgonzola cheese.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.


1. Allow steaks to rest until coming to room temperature, about fifteen minutes. Salt and pepper generously and place in pan over medium-high heat. Cook each side for four minutes to reach medium rare doneness.

2. Preheat broiler. Allow steaks to finish in the oven for one minute.

3. If you do not have a pan that can move from stove top to oven, tent the steaks under aluminum foil and allow to rest.

4. Top each steak generously with blueberry balsamic reduction and drizzle with gorgonzola cream sauce. 

5. Enjoy!

Lindsey Bartosh, an eighth-generation Moab girl, loves hiking, hunting, fishing, cooking, writing, photography and working on her website www.huntingandcooking.com.