Sorry folks. No pics today. I was transporting my camera and didn’t realize that when I put it into the case, I had turned it on. The battery is currently recharging, but, tonight’s dinner was so tasty and so easy, that I’m writing it up anyway.
I like to start with the mushrooms. They are easy and can sit on low until you’re ready for them.
MUSHROOMS – INGREDIENTS:
- 1 to 2# mushrooms, use either white button mushrooms or baby bella mushrooms. Clean them by just wiping them with a damp paper towel and trim off the ends. If the mushrooms are large, cut them in 1/2 or 1/4’s, as long as they are all about the same size, or, if you prefer, you could slice them.
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 C dry sherry
- Lawry’s seasoned salt.
Use a pan that is large enough to let the mushrooms sit in a single layer without crowding. Over medium heat, melt the butter, add the mushrooms, squeeze the lemon juice over the mushrooms, and pour the sherry over the mushrooms. Sprinkle everything with a layer of Lawry’s. You want to just see a light even layer over all the mushrooms. Then cook uncovered, stirring occasionally. In about 5 to 7 minutes you will have lovely cooked mushrooms, slightly browned and delicious, after having soaked up the buttery, wine and lemony goodness. You want to keep them uncovered since you don’t want to steam them and have them turn to mush. You can leave them on the stovetop, uncovered on low until you are ready to serve them. Just give them one quick stir and either plate them and serve them on the side, or pour them over the steak (see below).
NOTE: If you want some variety, you can slice up a shallot or two into thin slices and soften them up in the butter before adding the mushrooms, lemon juice, wine and salt.
Steak au poivre:
- 2 boneless rib eye or NY strip steaks, about 1 1/2″ thick (ours were 2.4# total) dried with paper towels and brought to room temperature– we buy our steaks at Costco and buy choice, not prime. We find them to always be flavorful and tender. I make 2 steaks for the 3 of us for dinner and there are usually 2 servings left over for the men to have for lunch the next day.
- Kosher or himalayan salt, ground coarsely and pressed into the meat on both sides
- Cracked black pepper, ground coarsely and pressed into the meat on both sides
- Olive oil – a couple of swirls in the cast iron skillet
- 1/3 to 1/2 C Napolean Brandy
- 2 tbsp. cold butter, cut into 8 pieces.
Pre-heat the oven to 375.
Using a cast iron skillet, swirl about 2 tbsp. olive oil in the pan and heat the pan over high heat until the oil starts to glisten. Take the seasoned meat and place the steak into the hot pan and sear for 2 minutes per side.
After the 2nd side sears for 2 minutes, carefully take the skillet and place it in the middle of the oven and set the timer for 5 minutes.
At the end of 5 minutes, use an instant read thermometer and carefully check the temperature. It’s easiest to put the thermometer in on an angle so you don’t touch the pan. You are looking for between 120 and 125 degrees for rare. 130 to 135 for medium and ugh, 145 for well done. Continue cooking just 1 or 2 minutes at a time, to avoid overcooking the meat.
NOTE: if your steaks are thinner, begin with 4 minutes in the oven.
Remove the steaks from the oven and put them onto a cutting board to rest for about 5 minutes. They will continue to cook and temp will increase about 5 degrees.
TO MAKE THE SAUCE: While the meat is resting, put the cast iron skillet back onto the stove top and turn the heat on medium-high. Carefully add the 1/3 to 1/2 C brandy to the pan and let it get hot. Add the cut up cold butter and start to stir the pan, scraping up any brown bits from the steak. You can add additional cracked pepper at this time if you’d like it a little more peppery or you can just leave it alone to cook down by about 1/2, stirring occasionally. This will take about 5 minutes total – perfect resting time for the steaks.
Slice the steaks into 1/2″ to 3/4″ wide strips and put onto a plate with a rim. Pour the mushrooms over the top of the steaks (or they can be served separately on the side), then pour the brandy sauce over it all.
The steaks came out buttery and tender while the brandy/pepper sauce added just a hint of decadence to the dish. The alcohol cooks out of the sauce, leaving a rich and delicious flavor to top the meat.
We served it up with Caesar Salad (recipe is already on the blog), or you could serve it with oven roasted potatoes or rough mashed red bliss potatoes, and grilled, oven roasted or steamed green veggies of your choice, i.e. broccoli, asparagus, green beans, etc.
Any way you serve up this steak dish, your guests will be impressed at the presentation and flavor, and it is a very easy dish to make – just please, please, please check the temp on the steaks so they are not overcooked!!!