A grilled beef steak is up to the task of accommodating competing flavor profiles, as long as you include a common denominator. Here, charred slices of fresh jalapeños partner with thick, meaty shiitake mushrooms to top a steak that’s been marinated for up to 8 hours in a good quality Italian vinaigrette. The unifying essence is sake, or Japanese rice wine.
My friend Judi Pasternak Houlihan figured this out in her cooking-and-eating experiments and is sharing it with us! Keep in mind you’ll need dry sake to pull this off because the fat in the beef, which gives it that umami essence, will be accentuated. A hearty splash of soy sauce to finish the mushroom-jalapeño topping adds necessary saltiness to balance the heat of the peppers.
Steak with Shiitake Mushrooms and Jalapeños Recipe
2 1/2 lbs beef top sirloin steak (about 1.5 inches thick)
1/3 cup good quality Italian vinaigrette (Drew’s or Bernstein’s are good choices)
1/2 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, dried, stemmed and caps thickly sliced
2 jalapeño peppers, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces with seeds
3 T sesame oil, more if needed
1 cup dry sake
2 T low-sodium soy sauce
For Steak Preparation:
Place steak in large ziplock baggie. Add vinaigrette and carefully seal, squeezing out air. Place in large, clean bowl and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
For Mushroom Jalapeño Topping:
Warm oil in large cast iron skillet until shimmering. Add jalapeño slices and sauté on medium heat, flipping until both sides are lightly charred.
Add mushrooms to skillet and brown to medium coloration, adding sesame oil if they begin to stick.
Carefully pour sake into skillet and continue to sauté over medium heat until liquid has been absorbed. Toss with soy sauce and set aside.
To Grill Steak:
Heat grill to 550°F.
Grill steak for 3 minutes.
Flip, lower lid and turn off grill. Steak should cook at about 300°F to a temperature of 135 to 145 degrees, depending on desired temperature. Test temperature with a probe thermometer.
Place steak on clean plate and let rest for 10 minutes. Carve into 1/2 inch slices.
Serve steak topped with mushroom jalapeño mixture alongside steamed rice and a green vegetable.
Recipe creation: Judi Pasternak Houlihan
While you’re tying your apron and eyeballing the measurements, Stephanie Davis, Co-host of the popular podcast, Wine Two Five, says first off, pour yourself a glass of Gruet’s “Sauvage” Blanc de Blanc and get the party started. Have fun cooking and channeling your creative side. This is your aperitif pairing — basically a bonus wine to free you and help you stop over-thinking. When the time comes and the steak gets center stage, open a bottle of Murrieta’s Well “The Spur” and feel the relaxed, comforting emotions this red blend elicits. Murrieta’s Well is located in Livermore Valley, CA and makes beautiful, affordable wines. ($30/bottle).
Award-winning author Emily Kemme writes about human nature, illuminating the everyday in a way that highlights its brilliance. Follow her on her blog, Feeding the Famished, https://www.facebook.com/EmilyKemme, or on Twitter @EmFeedsYou . Life inspired. Vodka tempered.
Interested in reading Emily’s new award-winning novel, Drinking the Knock Water: A New Age Pilgrimage? Find it on Amazon and in Indie bookstores.
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