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Mar 13, 2010

Rib-Eye Steak with a Mushroom-Red Wine Sauce


Steaks have just been too expensive to accomodate within our weekly food budget, so we have just learned to forgo them. It has probably been over 10 months since we made a steak at home. But K has been craving it… he keeps talking about the red-wine reductions that I make with steaks without actually saying “steak” explicitly. So I decided to get him one anyway.

Steaks are easy to cook. Choosing a good steak is half the battle conquered. There are, however, a few key pointers to cooking a good steak. But they are fairly easy to master. Buy a steak that has good marbelling. Even if you choose prime Angus meat, if the steak has no marbelling, it will not be juicy. Second, never start cooking a steak that has just come out of the fridge. The outsides cook very fast while the insides are too cold. By the time the middle reaches the “medium-rare” stage, the outsides will be horribly overcooked. So bring the steak out from the fridge about 1-2 hours before you plan to start cooking depending on the thickness, giving an hour for every inch of thickness. Season your steak before cooking and pat both sides dry just before putting it into the hot oil; this allows for a good sear. Rest the meat after cooking to relax the muscles. It is best if you can elevate the steak while it is resting so that the juices that come out don’t make the bottom soggy. But even if that’s not possible please do rest the steak – it makes a HUGE difference! If the steak you are cooking is very thick (~2″), after adding the steak to the pan, bring the heat down to medium. This will ensure that the sides don’t overcook before the centre comes to the right temperature.

Click here for printable recipe

1 rib-eye steak (10-oz)
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
sea salt and fresh-cracked pepper to taste

3 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, divided (keep in the fridge to keep cold)
1 heaping cup sliced cremini or white mushrooms
1 tsp minced garlic
1 sprig fresh thyme
1/2 cup of a good, full-bodied red wine like a Merlot
1 cup low-sodium dark chicken stock


1. Making sure that the steak is no longer cold, season the steak on both sides with sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper. Dab a little olive oil on either side too.

2. Heat a pan on medium-high heat until hot. (Check this video to see how to perfectly heat a stainless steel pan). Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the steak. Turn down the heat just a little.

3. Cook until you see a droplet of blood come up to the surface. This means it is time to flip the steak. Turn the heat back up to medium-high and flip. Wait a minute and then turn the heat back down a little.

4. When you see a droplet of blood the steak is cooked to medium-rare. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest. I rest my steak on a cooling rack with a plate underneath to catch any drippings.

To make the sauce: 

1. Add a tablespoon of butter to the pan. When it melts, add the garlic. Stir for just a minute before adding the mushrooms.

2. Keep the heat on medium. Sprinkle some salt. Cook the mushrooms until they brown.

3. Raise the temperature. Deglaze with the red wine, making sure to scrape up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add any juices from the steak to the pan. Reduce the wine until it reaches a syrupy consistency.

4. Now add the chicken stock and the sprig of thyme. Reduce until the sauce can coat the back of a spoon. Remove the sprig of thyme.

5. Add the rest of the cold butter and stir gently into the sauce. The butter gives a nice sheen to the sauce.

6. Add the steak back to the pan and coat with the sauce.

7. Serve the steak with the mushroom sauce alongside mashed potatoes and a salad. Enjoy with a glass of red wine. 


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