Tasty Tuesday – Steak with Mushroom Merlot Sauce

I’ve been exploring different kinds of wine recently, and it’s been an interesting journey.  I’m by no means a connoisseur, but I am developing a taste for red wine.  This week I happened to be trying out a bottle of Merlot that we got as a Christmas gift, and there was no way I could finish the whole bottle by myself before it went bad.  What was I going to do?  I’ve been cooking with wine for ages now, and I know that reds tend to pair best with beef, and I happened to have some steaks in the freezer.  Which meant that I was in search of a recipe, and where do I go to find those?  Why Pinterest, of course…

I happened upon a plausible solution in the form of Steak with Mushroom Merlot Sauce.

I was a pretty straightforward recipe.  Now don’t get me wrong, I made some distinct changes and substitutions.  I got together the ingredients for the recipe: the steaks, 1 cup of Merlot, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, 3 shallots, 4 cloves of crushed garlic, 1/3 cup heavy cream (I used 2/3 of a cup of whole milk), 2 tablespoons of tomato paste (I left this out), salt & pepper.

Once I had everything at the ready, I actually read through the directions and figured out that I only needed the ingredients for the marinade to start with…  Grrrr.  So, I combined the wine, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and the thyme in a pyrex measuring cup.

Making the marinade - wine  Making the marinade - olive oil   Making the marinade - thyme

Then I rinsed and dried the steaks, and put them into a shallow glass dish with a cover.  Next I poured the marinade over the steak, and covered the dish.  The recipe said to turn the steak to cover it with the marinade, but I just shook the container to get a more thorough coating.  Now I got to take a 2 hour break, and enjoy a nice glass of Merlot, because the steak needed to be refrigerated for at least that long.

Marinating Steak

After I had enjoyed a nice relaxing glass of wine and a good movie, I took the steak out of the marinade and set it aside.  Then I put the other tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan.

heat the oil

Next I sauteed the shallots and garlic in the heated olive oil.

sauteeing shallots and garlic

When they were nicely heated through, I added the marinade to the pot and brought it to a boil for about 10 minutes until it reduced slightly.

Heat the Remaining Marinade

Next, I reduced the heat and added the mushrooms.  They cooked in the wine sauce for about 5 minutes.

Cook the Mushrooms in the Wine Sauce

Once the mushrooms are soft, it’s time to add the cream, tomato paste, salt and pepper.  I used whole milk and omitted the tomato paste.

add the cream and simmer  Simmer the now creamy sauce

While the sauce is simmering, preheat the broiler (or grill pan – which is what I used).  Let the steak cook to medium rare.

grilling steak

I served it over a crusty Italian bread, with yet another glass of the lovely Merlot.

Mushroom Merlot Steak

The thing I learned from this meal is that the cut of steak matters just as much as the age and vintage of wine.

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Filed under check-it-off-the-list, self improvement, tasty tuesday

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