Porcini Dusted Steaks with Pinot Noir

Image: Wild Table cookbook.  Linked for purchase info.Here’s a great recipe that takes riby-eye steaks (traditionally a Cabernet dish) and transforms it into one that pairs beautifully with Pinot Noir (purchase here).  Mushrooms and Pinot Noir have a natural affinity, and in this recipe mushroom flavors are brought to the table in three ways – infused into the steak, cooked and served on top of the steak, and infused into a butter served alongside or also on top of the steak.  I’d recommend using the butter as a finishing touch on any vegetables, or even to spread on any bread served along with this meal.

The recipe is from The Wild Table by Connie Green & Sarah Scott (2010 Viking Studio)  See this recipe in its original form at the Sierra Madre Vineyard site.  Purchase the Sierra Madre Pinot Noir here.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 4  8-ounce or 2 16-ounce rib-eye steaks (or other cut of choice), 1 ½ – 2” thick
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried porcini powder (just grind dried porcinis in your spice grinder/coffee grinder)
  • 1 pound porcini mushrooms, cleaned
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ½ cup Porcini Butter, softened (recipe below)
  • Fleur de Sel
  • Minced chives or flat-leaf parsley

Season the steaks generously all over with the salt and pepper and ½ teaspoon of porcini powder per steak. Refrigerate, loosely covered, overnight. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator one hour before cooking. 
Prepare a grill to medium heat.

Place the olive oil in a small bowl with the minced garlic. Slice the porcini mushrooms into ¼” thick slices. Place on a baking sheet and brush with the garlic-olive oil mixture on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. 
Grill the rib-eyes for 7-8 minutes per side, for medium rare (130 – 135 degrees internal temperature).  When done, divide the Porcini Butter among the steaks, spooning it on top and letting it melt into them as they rest. Hold the steaks in a warm place while grilling the porcinis. 

Place the porcini mushrooms on the grill (if too small to grill, I prefer roasting in the oven over sauteeing, as it results in a more even, almost crisp, mushroom) and grill for  2-3 minutes per side or until tender and golden brown.

Slice the steaks or serve them whole on plates or a platter, topped and surrounded by the grilled porcinis. Sprinkle the fleur de sel and minced herbs over the top.

Porcini Butter (makes approximately 1 cup):

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed to remove any fine sand or grit
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 2 sticks at room temperature
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried porcini powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice

 

Place the dried mushrooms and the cold water in a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and let sit for 15 minutes.  Saving the liquid, drain the mushrooms, pressing the mushrooms to extract all the liquid.  Return the liquid to a sauce pan over medium high heat. Reduce to 1 tablespoon.  Set aside.

Finely mince the re-hydrated mushrooms.

Place the 2 tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat until just melted, then add the minced mushrooms and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add the chopped garlic and cook another 3 minutes until the garlic is softened, then stir in the reserved mushroom liquid and heat to a simmer.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Pour the mushrooms in the bowl of a food processor and process until very finely chopped,  stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the 2 sticks of softened butter, cut into 8 pieces, the porcini powder and the salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Pulse together until the butter is creamy and the mushrooms are evenly incorporated. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt or lemon juice as needed. The butter will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week and a half. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month.

Tips and Techniques:
Seasoning the steaks a day ahead allows time for the flavors to penetrate beyond the surface of the meat, giving them a more delicious taste when grilled.
The porcini powder gives a rich, deep brown crust to the steaks as they grill.
Allow the steaks to rest at least 6-8 minutes before serving for optimal tenderness and juiciness.

Substitutions and Variations:
Any cut of steak suitable for grilling can be substituted for the rib-eyes. Season them the same way, the day before, and grill according to the specific cut.
Grilled Portobello or crimini mushrooms can be substituted for the porcinis. Drizzle a little truffle oil over them just before serving.

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