Whether you're grilling or pan-searing your steak, what better way to complement all that meaty flavour than with a heaping crown of juicy, earthy mushrooms, made creamy and piquant with a few simple additions? This combo is tasty and classic, always a hit. (Skip to recipe.)
Summer has arrived and we're into grilling mode here in the north (between downpours of rain, that is.) The garden is growing like crazy, and I'm busy trying to keep the deer from feasting on all our new young seedlings. They've already decimated the scarlet runner beans around our bean teepee . . . twice! The chewed-off nubs were just sprouting new leaves when those pesky deer visited again. So now I hover over the forlorn looking stems and try to telepathically encourage them to grow one more time for me, while I string up bars of perfumed soap, and sprinkle blood meal and hair clippings all around, hoping one of these deer repellents will work. Gardening in the country seems to come with critter duty!
But today I'm here with the recipe I promised - Steak and Mushrooms - a simple way to enjoy summer grilling season (or wintertime pan-searing steak season).
Steak and Mushrooms - a Match Made in Food Heaven
Grill up your steaks - use any kind you like, from the inexpensive and quick Minute Steak to your favourite prime grilling steak - and load them up with a big helping of savoury sauteed mushrooms.
And, also, use any kind of mushroom you like - from simple button mushrooms to delicate wild-foraged mushrooms. I was lucky enough to have a few handfuls of morels left from our mushroom hunting expedition the last time I made this, and they were a rare treat.
Start with a quick sauté with butter, a bit of onion and garlic, and a few spices and seasonings. Then stir in a few spoonfuls of balsamic, tamari, and sour cream, and you have the most fantastic, zesty, creamy mushrooms to crown your steak in fungal glory. The earthy mushrooms taste absolutely divine with the umami flavour of the meat - these two were meant to go together.
No matter if you grill your steak over glowing coals, a gas BBQ, or a smoky campfire, or if you use store bought cello-packed mushrooms or foraged, delicate wild morels, a meal of steak and mushrooms is 'da bomb'!
And if you've got some extra mushrooms kicking around, here are some more of my favourite ways to prepare them:
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Kitchen Frau Notes: This dry rub mixture for the steak is simple and tasty. You can use smoked paprika or regular, or try smoked hot paprika for a bit more kick. Make up a bigger batch of the rub to have on hand for summer grilling, or toss the extras into hamburgers, meatballs, soups, stews, or casseroles.
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon paprika, mild, hot, or smoked
- 2 steaks, your favourite cut (I used striploin steaks, 300gms/10½ oz each)
- 2 teaspoons oil (plus more if pan-frying)
- 1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
- 2 cups (150gms) fresh mushrooms, any kind (morels are fantastic if you can get them!)
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme (or 1½ teaspoons fresh)
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon gluten free tamari soy sauce (or regular soy sauce)
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
Prepare the steaks: Stir together the salt, pepper, garlic powder, allspice, and paprika. Rub this seasoning mix all over every surface of the steaks. You may have some left over. (Add it to hamburgers, meatballs, soups, or stews.) Leave the steaks to season, uncovered, at room temperature for at least ½ hour, up to two hours, turning them occasionally.
Prepare the mushrooms: Rinse the mushrooms and leave them to dry on a kitchen towel, or brush them clean with a soft brush. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Tear the mushrooms into irregular pieces with your fingers; if using morels, leave the smaller caps whole, and slice the larger caps and all the stems. Add the mushrooms and the chopped onions to the oil, and cook them until the mushrooms release their juices and then until most of the juices evaporate but the mushrooms are still moist.
Add the minced garlic, brown sugar, thyme, paprika, and pepper, and cook for 1 minute more. Stir in the tamari and the balsamic vinegar. Stir together the cornstarch and water in a glass, then pour that into the mushrooms. Stir and cook everything until it starts to bubble. Stir in the sour cream and serve the mushrooms on top of the steaks.
*If you're making the mushrooms ahead, you can cook them up until the cornstarch is added and cooked. At this point you can set the skillet aside to wait until the steaks are ready to serve. Reheat and stir in the sour cream just before serving.
Cook the Steaks: Drizzle each steak with about 1 teaspoon of oil, then rub it in all over. Grill the steaks to your desired level of done-ness (we do about 3 - 4 minutes per side for medium rare on a medium heat barbecue, a little longer on the first side than the second side) or pan fry them in a hot cast iron skillet with a tablespoon of oil added (also about 3 - 4 minutes per side). Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer, if you want to be sure, remembering that the steaks will rise another 5°F in temperature during the resting time.
When the steaks are grilled or seared, set them onto a plate, cover them with foil or an inverted bowl, and leave them to rest for 5 minutes to allow the juices to reabsorb into the meat. You can finish up the mushroom sauce during this time.
Serves 2, but the recipe can easily be scaled up for more.
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