Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Reason To Always Keep Shallots: Steak And Stuff!

Yesterday was one of those horrible, no good, very bad days.  It was not a day you could blame on any one thing either.  It was just a combination of irritants that create those days you just wish would end, because you know tomorrow will be better.

Sometimes my solution to the blues, is to cook something delicious.  When I am upset I bake, when I am sad I bake, but when I am just generally pissed with the world, I dig a little deeper and try to make something really delicious.  Plus I am currently eating no sugar ( Think no chocolate might be contributing to my black mood?) so baking was out of the question anyway.

There has been a recipe floating around Pinterest that is all about making steakhouse steaks.  Thanks to an incredible weekend sale at The Pig, I had 4 steaks in the fridge, plus I already had shallots and garlic in a basket and a carton of white mushrooms.  The only thing I did not have was Marsala.  I am not a very big fan of cooking wines, and since I almost always have a bit of leftover wine, there is just no point in buying it.

There were no amounts or measurements given so I was careful to measure for it to be accurate.  It was really more of a how to than a recipe.  This is a reformed recipe, using the original ingredients  except I added the butter because the sauce tasted flat plus  I had  tablespoon of leftover drawn butter. ( Thanks to The Hub's recent lobstering outing) 

                                                              Steakhouse Type Steak 

3 tablespoons ground beef* (If cooking steak in the skillet omit)
3 shallots, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup Marsala (any dry red wine works)
salt to taste
cracked black pepper to taste
4 steaks, seasoned as usual for you ( I use Angelo's Steak Seasoning * 'cause it is the bomb)

The instructions call for pan cooking the steaks, so if you are inclined to do that omit the ground beef.  If you are going to cook the steak in the pan do it now. ( It will require a couple of additional tablespoons of olive oil)  When you reach your level of doneness remove the steaks from the pan and put then somewhere warm.

 I had purchased a whole beef tenderloin and the butcher had not only sliced and trimmed it, but had ground all the trimmings minus the silver skin.  Since we prefer grilled steak, I put 3 tablespoons of the trimmings in the pan and cooked it well. while the steaks grilled.  Using a slotted spoon remove the ground beef , leaving all of the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.  ( Shelby, the dog, was most happy to have a treat on top of her dry food)

I had 3 shallots and used all of them, peeled and sliced thinly.  The garlic cloves were medium size.  If I had larger cloves I would  use only 3.   Add the olive oil to the pan and heat to a medium high heat.  Toss the shallots in and let them wilt, then add the garlic, stirring to keep the garlic from browning.  Remove from the heat and stir in the mushrooms.  Move them around to coat with the oil then return to heat for about 2 minutes, stirring continually.  Add the wine and stir through the vegetables, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate the beef flavors there.  Reduce the liquid by half, stir in the butter, add salt and pepper to taste and serve on top of each steak.

This was an instant mood lifter!  It was delicious and a snap to make.  It amped up the flavor of the steak and even provided some additional vegetables.  There was not a morsel left, though Shelby kept a constant vigil just in case!

Next time I make this I might experiment with some fresh herbs.  I think a little marjoram or thyme  added when the wine goes in might be very tasty.  I have parsley in the yard and should have minced some of that also but I just didn't think of it in time. Next time 4 shallots will be used.  They taste  great and really compliment the garlic.

And this is why you should always have shallots on hand.  You never know when you might have to cook your way out of the doldrums!

* I am going to the beach in a week and will be restocking my Angelo's stash.  Anyone else need any?

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