Thursday, July 8, 2010

Strip Steaks with Brandied Porcini Mushroom Sauce

I love to pan sauté steaks.  They get a really good caramelized topping and they’re very easy to cook.  I realize it may be the height of barbecue season, but it’s really oppressively hot outside.  So I bring this recipe to your attention because you can cook it quickly and easily and stay in the Air Conditioning while you do.   And you actually couldn’t really get this recipe right on the grill because you need the pan drippings for the sauce.  So keep cool and eat like a king.

This recipe is a riff on one of Tyler Florence’s “Ultimate” Series.  I love the way Tyler cooks and the flavors he brings out in food.  He’s a very reliable guy to go for a recipe.  The key difference between mine and his is subtle.  Tyler uses white button mushrooms.  We opted for porcini. 

We are fortunate to have a dedicated mushroom grower whose farm is right down the road.  His name is David Falkowski and he runs an operation called Open Minded Organics.  There’s no comparison to David extensive mushroom selection even in our best specialty food stores.  They could not be fresher and his varieties keep growing every year.  Whether you buy them at his stand on Butter Lane in Bridgehampton or get them at one of the several farmer’s markets that make summer here on the East End of Long Island such a treat, David’s mushrooms are one of the great pleasures of cooking here. To read more about David and our Farmer’s Market, click here:

A word on the steaks we used:  The New York strip is one of my favorite cuts because it has an intense beef flavor and still maintains a chewy quality that reminds you you’re eating beef with every bite.  Now these babies came from Costco so they were nice and wallet-friendly.  But beware of one thing at Costco:  Their beef is mainly USDA Choice.  That’s really a second-tier quality and we’ve suffered some disappointments with it.  However, these are USDA Prime and they’re worth every penny of the extra money you’ll pay for them.
So here’s the recipe:

Recipe for Strip Steaks with Brandied Porcini Sauce

4 New York strip steaks, each about 1 1/2 inches thick

Extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 pound porcini or white buttom mushrooms, trimmed, brushed clean with a towel and stemmed, caps left whole

Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 cup brandy

1/2 cup heavy cream

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until smoking. Sprinkle the steaks all over with salt and pepper. Put the steaks in the pan and cook, turning to brown all sides completely, until medium-rare, 8 to 10 minutes depending on how thick the steaks are. Remove the steaks to a platter with tongs and cover loosely with a tent of aluminum foil to keep the meat warm while you make the sauce.

Put the saute pan back over medium-high heat and add 1/4 cup olive oil. When the oil is smoking, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Then add the thyme and garlic, and season well with salt and pepper. Toss a few more times to cook the garlic, then dump the mushrooms out onto a platter.

Take the pan off the heat, add the brandy, and cook until almost evaporated. Add the cream and cook that down 2 to 3 minutes until reduced by about one-half and thickened. Return the mushrooms to the pan with whatever juices have collected on the platter and simmer the whole thing another 2 minutes until thickened again. Put the steaks in the pan to coat them with sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serves 4.
We served our steaks with fingerling potatoes that we cut in half and put the fleshy side down on a baking sheet we'd brushed with olive oil. We salted and peppered them and put them in an oven pre-heated to 375 for about 20 minutes.  We steamed the sugar snap peas, buttered them and that was it.  Highly Recommended!  

1 comment:

  1. Haven't prepared this recipe, yet. Let's meet for coffee the next time you are in the city.