Monday, February 23, 2009

Taste & Create XVII: Grilled Beef Flank Steak with Double-Mushroom Ragoût

For this month's Taste & Create, I was paired with Dolores of Chronicles in Culinary Curiosity. If you're not familiar with Taste & Create, it is a fantastic event (my favorite, in fact) hosted by the lovely Nicole from For The Love of Food. Participants are randomly paired off, and tasked with creating a recipe from their partner's blog.

Dolores has some delicious looking recipes...but I narrowed it down to a couple from her Christmas Feast '08: Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Double-Mushroom Ragoût.

I decided on this recipe because 1) we like beef and 2) we like mushrooms. Not too complicated. And we were heading to the Big City this month, so I thought I would able to get specialty ingredients including beef tenderloin, dried porcini and fresh cremini mushrooms, without even having to special order anything. =) Perfect timing!

But then. Sheesh. At Costco, beef tenderloin comes in one size: HUMONGOUS. And, it costs in the neighborhood of $50 +. I just couldn't justify it. I decided to look at some other grocery stores. "Some" turned into "a lot" because none of the grocery stores seem to carry beef tenderloin. Pork tenderloin is everywhere. Beef tenderloin, as luck would have it, is nowhere.

At the last store I checked, they did have beef tenderloin! However, despite the fact that it was "on sale" it was still too expensive: about $40 for the size this recipe calls for. On SALE!!! It was late and I was exhausted and we were still an hour from home, so I chose Flank Steak instead. Flank Steak marinates well and cooks up quick. There goes the slow-roasted aspect, but at least I can sleep at night knowing I didn't blow $50 on a little piece of beef for one meal.

Upon my return to the, ahem, cattle ranch, I discovered that the recipe called for "beef tenderloin roast." Is this different than "beef tenderloin?" This cowgirl was too delirious from shopping last night to remember if there was a distinction, or even something in the meat case labeled "beef tenderloin roast." I will check when I get back to the grocery store (clarify with butcher if necessary) and report back.

So this recipe will differ greatly from the original. I will still use the marinade and marinate the flank steak for several hours, but grill it instead of roasting it. Thankfully the only change in the double-mushroom ragoût will be the type of wine (too busy to hunt down a liquor store and search for Marsala, plus the liquor stores close early 'round these parts. Red of some sort will do, I'm certain).

Although I didn't end up having the time, I was pleased to notice that you can make the ragoût up to two days ahead, and start seasoning the tenderloin 6 hours ahead.

The mushroom ragoût is delicious, whichever cut of beef it is atop! Thanks to Number One our flank steak was perfectly grilled, and the subtle marinade complemented the beef and the ragoût very nicely. We will definitely be making this again.

Grilled Beef Flank Steak with Double-Mushroom Ragoût
Serves 6

2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh thyme
2 tsp. minced garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 beef flank steak
1 recipe Double-Mushroom Ragoût

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, thyme, garlic, 1 tsp. salt, and several generous grinds of black pepper. Rub oil mixture on flank steak, then put the flank steak in a ziploc bag with any remaining marinade and put the bag on a rimmed sheet pan (to catch any leaks) in the refrigerator. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours, turning bag over about every half hour.

Heat grill to high. Grill flank steak, about 5 to 7 minutes on one side, then flip, reduce grill to medium and grill another 5 to 7 minutes. (it is important not to overcook flank steak). Transfer to a carving board, tent with foil and let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Cut the flank steak against the grain into 1/2-inch slices. Serve with the ragoût.
You can season the tenderloin up to 6 hours ahead and refrigerate.

Double-Mushroom Ragoût
Yields 2 to 2-1/2 cups

1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms (about 1 cup)
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
20 oz. cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
Kosher salt
1/3 cup finely chopped shallot
1/3 cup dry Marsala (I used Merlot)
1 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh thyme
3/4 cup heavy cream; more for reheating
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley

Soak the porcini in 1-1/2 cups very hot water, stirring occasionally, until they're rehydrated, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer them to a cutting board and chop coarsely. Strain the soaking liquid through a coffee filter into a small bowl and set aside.

In a 10-inch straight-sided saute pan, heat 2 Tbs. of the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the cremini and 1 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have softened and released their liquid, 5 to 8 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring more frequently, until the mushrooms are shrunken and very well browned, 8 to 10 minutes more.

Reduce the heat to medium, add the shallots and the remaining 1 Tbs. butter and cook, stirring, until the shallots are softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the Marsala, thyme, porcini, and 1/4 cup porcini-soaking liquid (reserve the remaining soaking liquid if making ahead). Cook and stir until most of the liquid evaporates, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cream and cook until reduced to a saucy consistency, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Make Ahead:
You can make and refrigerate the ragoût up to 2 days ahead. Just before serving, reheat it in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in 1 or 2 Tbs. of the reserved mushroom-soaking liquid and 1 or 2 Tbs. heavy cream, letting both reduce slightly until the ragoût is just loose and saucy enough to spoon around the tenderloin. Stir in the parsley.

1 comment:

Nicole from: For the Love of Food said...

I love mushrooms! This sounds delicious and creamy!

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