Want to put a special dinner on the table, pronto? If you're lucky enough to score a whole pile of mushrooms, this is your recipe! First, cook the mushrooms with red wine and rosemary until caramelized, yes, the sauce is amazing! Then cook the pepper steaks, either my recipe for sirloin steaks or your choice of steaks, grilled, pan-cooked, etc. Recipes below! Weight Watchers friendly, low-carb, high-protein and totally delicious.
The Chinese calendar calls 2006 the Year of the Dog. Australia marks 2006 as the Year of the Sea Turtle. A technology magazine dubs 2006 the Year of LCD TV and musicians the Year of Mozart. With rhetorical inelegance, the U.S. Senate calls it the Year of Study Abroad, the UN the International Year of Deserts, the European Union the Year of Worker Mobility.
Me, I’ll remember 2006 as the Year I Learned to Cook Meat in a Skillet.
You long-time cooks who’ve been dishing up fast skillet suppers for years, now that you’ve stopped chuckling, won’t you please welcome me into the club? It has a proud heritage and I’m proud to proclaim new membership.
The trick, you see, is in the pan. It needn’t be expensive. It does need to hold its heat which precludes non-stick pans that don’t tolerate temperature. Here, I use two skillets, one beautifully seasoned cast iron, the other brand-new stainless steel.
At first, I worried about sticking. But sticking was no problem. Here's the trick: if the pan is hot enough to sizzle when the meat hits and if we can resist moving the meat before a tasty crust forms, no worries about sticking!
Will you help mark 2006? It’s Kitchen Parade’s Year of the Super Skillet Supper featuring Steak and, ahem, ‘Shrooms.
TASTE & ADJUST Meat sauces aren't difficult to make but making a good one does take some thinking. I call it "taste and adjust". For this recipe, before thickening the Mushroom-Red Wine Sauce, first taste a tiny spoonful of the liquid. If your wine was a little dry and the liquid tastes slightly acrid, you might want to add a tablespoon or two of brown sugar. If your wine was a little sweet, you might want to add another few tablespoons of chicken stock or a tablespoon of Worcestershire to dilute the sweetness. Adjust the seasoning too. A little more salt, a few grinds of pepper can make a world of difference. Do be sure that the liquid tastes good after cooking down and before deciding how to thicken it.
PEPPER STEAK & MUSHROOM-RED WINE SAUCE
We usually choose sirloin steaks for everyday and t-bones, as pictured, for occasions.
Time to table: 45 minutes
MUSHROOM-RED WINE SAUCE
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion, diced small
- 1 pound mushrooms, sliced thick
- Salt, as needed
- 1 cup good red wine
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon flour, if needed (see ALANNA'S TIPS)
- 1 pound top sirloin steak, fat trimmed, cut into four pieces
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Coarse pepper
- Kosher salt
MUSHROOM-RED WINE SAUCE In a large, heavy skillet such as cast iron or heavy stainless steel, melt the butter on medium high. Add the onions and mushrooms as they're prepped, stirring to coat with fat with each addition. When all the onion and mushrooms are in the skillet, season with a little salt.
(From here on, you'll want to taste the mushrooms and add salt, just a few sprinkles at a time several times along the way. To remind you, look for this instruction: "SALT!")
As the mushrooms begin to brown, they'll seem dry at first and you'll be tempted to add water or something to avoid burning. But resist that notion, for the mushrooms will begin to throw off liquid. At that point, adjust the heat to maintain a slow simmer, cover the skillet and cook the mushrooms for 5 minutes. (SALT!)
Then uncover the mushrooms and cook uncovered for another 10 minutes until that mushroom liquid cooks off. They'll get a little dark and even a little sticky, don't worry, that's going to be flavor! (SALT!)
Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the skillet. Add the broth and rosemary, cook for 5 minutes. (SALT!)
QUICKLY THICKEN WITH FLOUR Pull out the rosemary. Sprinkle flour over top, gently whisk into sauce and cook until just thick, 1 – 2 minutes. Transfer to another dish and cover.
~or~ SLOWLY THICKEN WITH TIME and HEAT Alternatively, let the mushrooms continue to slowly cook, cooking down the liquid slowly until it becomes quite thick. This has become my favorite way to let the mushrooms cook. It does mean that using a second skillet to cook the steaks. Once the mushrooms have reached the desired consistency, turn off the heat until the steaks are done, then give them a final blast of heat to bring back to temperature. Pull out the rosemary before serving.
PEPPER STEAKS While the sauce cooks, prep steaks by pounding the meat between sheets of waxed paper with a mallet or rolling pin until it's about a half-inch thick. Generously season both sides with pepper and salt.
Melt the butter in same skillet (don’t worry if some sauce is left) over medium high. Add the steaks and cook until done, about 2 minutes per side for medium rare. Transfer the steaks to warm plates.
TO SERVE Return the sauce to the skillet, stir in meat juice. Top steaks with sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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