Casual summer meals…al fresco!
I have to say I don’t cook beef very often, but when summer rolls around I can almost smell a thick juicy steak grilling on the back yard BBQ!. Perhaps it’s just a wistful déjà vu moment for a tempered carnivore, but the lure of indulging in a succulent guilty pleasure, sans remorse, is convincing enough to throw caution to the wind and fire up the grill!
The good news is your indulgence need not break the bank! Marinating a skirt or flank steak, or short loin, will spare your wallet and deliver more flavor than you could have ever imagined!
Grilled Beef and Portobello Mushrooms: Serves 2 (or double or triple the recipe proportionately)
- 1 pound/450g center cut beef of choice
- 3 anchovy fillets
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + more for brushing the mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 Portobello mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 cup dry white wine
- flaky sea salt to taste
- Maldon Salt freshly ground pepper when serving
Prepare 1 or 2 days ahead:
Combine the anchovies, olive oil, lemon juice and peppercorns in a mortar and grind into a paste with the pestle. Using your hands massage the marinade mixture into the beef. Place in a shallow dish and add sliced garlic over the beef. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 1 or 2 days, turning the fillets now and again while marinating.
Remove the marinated beef from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before grilling, and discard the garlic cloves.
Brush the mushrooms with olive oil and set aside.
Lightly oil and fire up the grill (or cast iron grill pan) and wait until smoking hot before grilling.
Place the marinated beef over the hottest part of the grill (or in the grill pan) and grill for about 5 minutes, turning the fillets a quarter turn after 2 ½ minutes for crossed grill markings.
Add the mushrooms to the grill (or grill pan) placed around the fillets.
Turn the fillets over and grill another 5 minutes, again turning the fillets a quarter turn after 2 ½ minutes.
Flip the mushrooms while you are grilling the meat, and set them aside when nicely browned to cool. When cool enough to handle thinly slice the mushrooms and set aside.
At this point the meat will be rare.
If you prefer medium rare, continue grilling the beef, flipping each minute or so while testing as you grill by pressing on the surface of the meat with your finger. It should feel springy rather than soft for medium rare. Grilling beyond medium rare is a sacrilege for a true steak gastronome, but if you must, up to you?
Once the meat is cooked to your liking, promptly remove the steak from the grill (or grill pan) and set aside on a platter, cover with foil, and rest 5 minutes.
Using a small sauce pan set over medium high heat, melt the butter, add the wine and any juices that have collected on the platter holding the beef, and reduce by half. Add the sliced mushrooms to warm as the wine continues to reduce to a thin glaze. Add salt to taste and turn off the heat.
If you have used a grill pan, carefully set the hot grill pan on the top of the stove over medium-high heat. Add the butter and any juices that have collected on the platter holding the beef along with the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping all the bits into the wine. Once the wine has reduced by half add the mushrooms to warm as the wine continues to reduce to a thin glaze. Add salt to taste and turn off the heat.
Serving: Slice the beef thinly across the grain and place on individual serving plates or platter. Add the sliced mushrooms on top and drizzle the wine reduction over all.
Serve with Maldon Salt (flaky sea salt) and pepper mill set on the table.
Suggested accompaniments: bearded (salted) golden baked potatoes with sour cream or Greek yogurt and, why not pull out all the stops, and top with a dollop of black caviar!
A mixed greens salad with radishes, tomatoes, and simple red wine vinaigrette always rounds out a perfect al fresco steak dinner.