Monday, November 12, 2012

NY Strip Steaks with Mushroom Sauce

I keep my eye on the Facebook updates from my local Whole Foods Market for specials, and the upcoming one day sale on New York Strip Steaks quickly caught my attention. This is one of my favorite cuts of steak, and Whole Foods has a one day special on them this Friday, November 16. So I thought I'd preview the special with one of my favorite ways to prepare this cut. For that day only, you can get their NY Strip Steaks for $9.99 per pound, $8 off the regular price. That is a great deal for meat of this quality--I like knowing that Whole Foods is naturally raised. This particular cut on sale gets a "Step 1" rating, meaning no cages, no crowding. More on their rating system here.

The Whole Foods standards gives me peace of mind, but it's the taste of this steak that gets me--and my family--excited. Our seven year old exclaimed after trying this one, "The best steak ever!". He had it without the mushroom sauce; surely, this cut doesn't require much preparation to be enjoyed. But for the grownup tastes in the house, the mushroom sauce made a nice addition. Enough preliminaries; on with the recipe!

2 NY Strip Steaks (take them out of the refrigerator about 10 to 15 minutes before you start preparing them)

For the rub:
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
pepper to taste

For the sauce:
10 ozs mushrooms, sliced
1 lg or 2 small shallots, chopped
1/3 cup red wine
3 tbsp butter
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped, or 1/2 tsp dried
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Make the rub by combining the rub ingredients in a bowl. Take the steaks out of their wrapper, pat dry with a paper towel and place on a cutting board. Sprinkle half the rub over the steaks, and then gently rub it into the meat. Turn the steaks over, and repeat with the rest of the rub.

Spray a large oven safe skillet with cooking oil, and heat on medium high. When the skillet is good and hot, place the steaks in the skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes to brown the outside of the steak, then turn over and brown the other side by cooking for another minute or two. Remove the skillet from stove top and place in the oven.

Roast the steaks for about 14 to 15 minutes to cook medium rare. Remember they will continue to cook as they rest, so take them out when they are almost but not quite done to your liking. When they've reached that point, take the steaks out of the skillet and place on a platter, loosely cover them with aluminum foil.
Take the skillet you used for the steak, reserving all those good cooking juices, and place back on stove top to make the sauce. Melt 2 tbsp of the butter on medium heat, stirring to incorporate the bits of meat and fat remaining in the pan. Stir in the shallots, and cook until softened. Just takes 2 to 3 minutes as the pan will be quite hot still from the oven. Stir in the mushrooms and thyme, cook for about 3 to 4 minutes until the mushrooms begin to soften. Add the wine, cook a few more minutes until the wine is reduced by one half. Finish by melting in the last tbsp of butter and adding salt & pepper to taste.

When the sauce is about done, reduce heat to very low. Slice the steak against the grain, about 1/2 inch thick. Serve 4 to 5 slices per plate, topped with a bit of the mushroom sauce, and pass extra sauce at the table. We served with a salad and homemade baked french fries.

Wine pairing: We rounded out this special treat by serving an outstanding, single vintage Cabernet from Howell Mountain (Napa Valley)--the 2006 Bravante Vineyards Cab (about $50 retail). But certainly any full bodied red would go nicely with this dish, including some for half that price.

Full disclosure: Whole Foods Woburn provided me with the ingredients for the meal to help spread word about the special. I chose the recipe, and the results are fully my own!