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4 lg., peeled garlic cloves, 2 crushed with a cleaver of knife & 2 cut lengthwise into halves
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 beef tenderloin steaks, sliced about 3/4" thick
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter
1 lg. bay leaf, crumbled
8 thin slices presunto ham or prosciutto or other lean smoked ham
1/4 c. dry red wine
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. finely chopped parsley
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mash the crushed garlic, vinegar, salt and a few grindings of pepper to a smooth paste with a mortar and pestle or in a bowl with the back of a spoon. With your fingers, rub the paste into the steaks, pressing it firmly into both sides of the meat.

In a heavy 10" to 12" skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil over moderate heat. When the foam has almost subsided, add the garlic halves and bay leaf and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then with a slotted spoon, remove and discard the garlic and bay leaf. Add the steaks and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, turning them with tongs and regulating the heat so that they color quickly and evenly. The steaks should be well browned, but still pink inside.

Transfer the steaks to individual baking dishes and keep them warm in the oven. Add the slices of ham to the fat remaining in the skillet and cook over high heat, turning them frequently for 1 or 2 minutes. With the tongs, place 2 slices ham on each steak. Pour off all but a thin film of fat from the skillet, add the wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil over high heat, meanwhile scraping in any brown particles clinging to the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour the sauce over the steaks, sprinkle them with parsley and garnish each serving with lemon wedges. Serve at once. Serves 4.

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