Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Grilled Steak with Mushroom Marsala Cream Sauce

The perfect meal for a cold wintery evening, Grilled New York Steak bathed in a silky sauce, brimming with fresh sliced mushrooms and flavoured with a splash of cream and Marsala wine or Brandy, turns this carnivore's delight into an extra special treat. Served with fresh spinach and Horseradish and Thyme Mashed Potatoes — all that's missing is a lovely glass of good red wine.

A tablespoon of butter and olive oil heated in a skillet over medium-high

Preparing the Horseradish and Thyme Mashed Potatoes ahead of time, or simply revitalizing leftover mash with some butter, cream, fresh thyme and bottled horseradish, makes for an easy and delicious addition to any beef dish. All that remains is making the Mushroom Marsala Cream Sauce, which takes less than 20 minutes. Any combination of wild and exotic mushrooms can be used: shiitake, chanterelles, morels, enoki, crimini or button mushrooms. Sautéed with a tablespoon of butter and olive oil in a large skillet, seasoned with salt and pepper, and finished with a dash of cream, marsala wine and fresh thyme — the sauce is complete.

Crimini, button or even shiitake mushrooms with fresh thyme

The mushrooms sautéed in a little butter and olive oil

Then a little light cream is added along with a splash of Marsala or Brandy and fresh thyme

Although I selected a thick New York Strip for this dish, a leaner tenderloin or fattier rib-eye are all an equally delicious options — it's really a question of taste. Generally I like to buy steak at least 1-inch thick, as it makes for a more handsome presentation, especially when carved into generous slices and bathed in generous lashings of Mushroom Marsala Cream Sauce. Spinach, steamed or sautéed, is a natural with this dish, and when combined with a dollop of Thyme and Horseradish Mashed Potatoes, this decadent combination makes for a hearty, luxurious and delicious dinner. Or steam the spinach and skip the mash for a leaner, cleaner culinary version — they're all 'steak-extraordinary'!

One large New York strip steak can be easily shared for two

Grilled in a ribbed skillet with a little vegetable oil ensures nice grill marks

Grilled New York Strip Steak with Mushroom Marsala Cream Sauce
Serves 4

4 8oz New York strip steaks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bunch fresh chives, chopped

Marsala Mushroom Cream Sauce:

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
8 oz sliced crimini mushrooms
8 oz sliced white button or shiitake mushrooms
3/4 cup Marsala or Brandy
1/2 cup heavy or light cream
3 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper

For the Marsala cream sauce, heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, add the mushrooms and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mushrooms are barely cooked through. Add the Marsala wine and cook for 5 minutes allowing the wine to slightly reduce. Stir in the heavy cream and thyme, reduce the heat to medium and cook the mushroom sauce for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat a grill pan to medium-high. Season the steaks with salt and black pepper then sear on each side until the internal temperature reaches 130°F for medium-rare. Remove the steaks from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve on warmed dinner plates with Marsala Mushroom Cream Sauce spooned over top, a garnish of chopped chives and sprig of thyme.

Horseradish & Thyme Mashed Potatoes
Serves 4

2lb Yukon gold or russet potatoes
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp whole milk
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, crumbled
2 tbsp fresh or prepared horseradish

Peel the potatoes and boil for 30-40 minutes, or until tender. Remove from the heat and mash the potatoes with the butter until no lumps are left, then warm the cream and the milk together in a small saucepan and add that to the mashed potatoes. Stir in the horseradish and thyme, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

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