I love using crimini mushrooms. They pack all the meaty flavor of Portobello mushrooms inside a small, easily manipulated, package. Best of all, they are conveniently found in any local supermarket. For those that are not as comfortable with super sharp knives and small produce, you can often find these mushrooms pre-sliced as well.
In a previous post about picking side dishes, I mentioned how I enjoy looking at menus and deciphering what to place alongside my main entrees. This title came from a steakhouse in Omaha, Nebraska. I’ve noticed in my travels over the past couple of years that Executive Chef’s have been using the word “salad” liberally these days to dress up their menus and make their dishes sound more sophisticated than they actually are. In essence, a salad is a mix of ingredients topped with a sauce. Thus, below is my best interpretation of what this steakhouse might have served had I been there.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 4 12 oz grass fed porterhouse steaks
- 8 oz crimini mushrooms
- 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp shallot, minced
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp ground mustard
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cayenne Pepper (or to taste)
1. Start by blending the brown sugar, ground mustard, sweet paprika, garlic powder, salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl. Be sure to break up the clumps of brown sugar.
2. Rub the spice mixture on the steaks and let sit on the counter for 30 minutes. There are two reasons for this. The first is this will allow the spices to melt into meat and ensure the flavors are consistent in every bite. The second is you want to allow your meat to come to room temperature. When cold meat meets a hot pan, it instantly sticks and you’ll have to fight to get it off. This is a fight, by the way, that you won’t win without casualties.
3. While the steak is marinating, slice the mushrooms thin and add the shallots to a hot pan with olive oil over medium high heat (a 7 on the dial). Saute until the mushrooms have caramelized.
4. Remove the mushrooms and place the pan back over the heat. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan to deglaze the pan. Make sure to scrape up any brown bits left behind. Add the vinegar to the mushrooms.
Note: You have a few options to cook your steaks. You can grill, broil, and roast them. For this recipe, I decided to butter baste them. This is good if you are cooking a small amount of steaks. If you are having the family over, for time purposes, it would be best to grill or broil the steaks.
5. Add 2 tbsp butter and an equal amount of olive oil to a pan and place over medium high heat. Once nearly smoking, add the steak to the pan. It should instantly sizzle. After a few minutes, tilt the pan slightly towards you and use a spoon to spoon the hot oil/butter over the steak. After five minutes, flip the steak and baste again. Set the steak under some aluminum foil to rest. Clean the pan out between steaks.
6. Plate your steak and add the mushroom salad on top. Spoon any juices over the steak. Here I’ve served the steak over french fries that will soak up the steak and mushroom juices.