For whatever reason, when I am the lone car passenger on a longer drive, I seem to fall asleep somewhat immediately.
I try, desperately, to keep my eyes open and engage the driver in conversation, but before you know it my head starts to shift comfortably to the window, eye lids start to flutter and I’m dozing off.
My boyfriend has fell victim to my narcoleptic ways one too many times, most recently this weekend on a drive down to Virginia Beach. Not even 20 minutes into leaving late Friday evening I was out like a light, only to wake up briefly to what I thought was a car crash, but in actuality was the song on the radio.
Yes, I know. Grab an extra strong coffee or buy a red bull. None of it works, trust me…
So to pay back my boyfriend for his solo driving efforts, and my lack of amusement, I made us dinner Sunday night.
As I’ve mentioned previously, only recently have I reintroduced red meat back into my food repertoire. For some reason, just was not the biggest fan in the past, but lately have had random cravings of Kobe beef sliders, filet mignon, and lately corn beef and cabbage, when I’ve been out. Maybe my stomach is trying to make up for lost years?
Like any other red-blooded male, or most that I know, my boyfriend loves his red meat. So I decided to whip up the classic meat and potatoes combination a la Alex – Grilled Steak with Mushroom Gravy, fingerling potatoes with parsley and garlic butter, and sauteed spinach with olive oil and garlic.
Before I get to the steak, let’s go over the side dishes. For the potatoes, I peeled them since they were slightly larger than normal, but honestly this can be a bit of hassle with fingerling potatoes, so feel free to leave on the skin. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and then boil for around 6-8 minutes until tender to the poke of a fork. Drain the potatoes and then place in a serving dish. Add in a touch of butter, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and chopped fresh parsley.
For the spinach, simply sauté 2-3 chopped garlic cloves in a pan with a touch of olive oil, over medium heat. Add in the spinach and toss lightly until the spinach wilt completely. Keep in mind the amount of spinach you end up with in the end will be MUCH less than what you started with, so I tend to use 3-4 large handfuls for 2 people.
As for the steak, clearly the weather gods did not realize I was planning to grill that evening. A mix of light rain and snow flurries welcomed us to the grill. Even so, the grill was able to stay hot and the steaks came off perfectly (future guest writer Sean O’Donnell advises 7 minutes per side for medium-rare steaks, give or take a couple of minutes depending on meat thickness and cooking preference).
And in my new-found love of meat opinion, nothing goes better with a steak than a glass of dry red wine. As such, I wanted the mushroom gravy to have a rich, deep red wine flavor to compliment the meat.
The meal is the perfect thank you to any carnivore.
Grilled Steak with Mushroom Gravy
1 – 1 1/2 pounds top sirloin steak (the sauce works with any cut of meat you prefer, this cut happened to be on sale)
8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup dry red wine
1 cup beef broth (plus more if too thick)
2 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cold water
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
For the steak:
Let your steaks sit out on the counter for 15 minutes or so, to get to room temperature (Cold steak on the grill is a no no). When it is ready to go, salt, pepper, and garlic powder both sides of the steaks. On a hot grill, cook the steaks 7 minutes per side for medium-rare, give or take some time for thickness and cooking preference. Let the steaks sit for a couple of minutes before you cut into them.
For the gravy:
Heat the olive oil and butter in a saute pan over low-medium heat. Add in the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add in the red wine and cook for a few more minutes, then add in the beef broth and cook another five minutes, letting the mixture reduce a bit.
In a small bowl to the side, whisk the cold water and flour (this will help thicken the gravy). Whisk this mixture into the mushrooms until well blended. Test for salt and pepper, and let cook this all cook for another minute. If the sauce is too thick, you can add in a little more broth. Add in the fresh parsley and test again for salt and pepper before serving over your steak.