(Cue up the Karaoke machine to “My Favorite Things”. Here we go:
“Beef steak and mushrooms, garlic, tomatoes.
Salad with blue cheese and roasted potatoes.
Fresh warm baked bread and some hot chicken wings,
These are a few of my favorite things.”
I know – dorky idea – but take the first line of my verse and you have the backbone of a dish I fixed this week that was absolutely delicious. You can be sure it will be served again and again. I happened upon it this week when looking for something on a foodie website and one thing led to another and I wound up at Epicurious.com looking at this recipe. All I needed to buy was a flank steak, although any other steak would have worked just fine.
1 (1 1/2 lb.) flank steak
1 1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
3 T. olive oil, divided
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 t. chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 t. dried hot red-pepper flakes
12 oz. sliced mixed fresh mushrooms (about 6 cups)
1 (14-oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
Pinch of sugar
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Pat steak dry with paper towels. Mix together salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub three fourths of salt mixture on both sides of the steak.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saute meat, turning over once, 6 to 8 minutes total for rare (depending on thickness of steak)., Transfer to a baking pan and keep warm in oven while making ragout.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in same skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Then saute garlic, rosemary, and red-pepper flakes, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and remaining salt mixture and saute, stirring frequently, and scraping up any brown bits until mushrooms are tender but still juicy, 6 to 7 minuters. Add tomatoes with their juice and sugar, then simmer, stirring occasionally until liquid is reduced by about two thirds, 5 to 8 minutes.
Transfer steak to a cutting board and pour any meat juices from the baking pan into mushroom ragout. Holding knife at a 45-degree angle, cut steak across the grain into thin slices. Serve topped with the ragout.
(My variations were slight. I added another clove of garlic and, before adding the tomatoes, I put in a splash of white wine, maybe 2 tablespoons, and reduced it to nearly nothing. I only had button mushrooms on hand. Next time I will use mixed mushrooms.)