Sunday, March 15, 2009

Steakhouse at home: Steak with Bacon-Shallot Sauce and Creamed Spinach

I love steak. Love, love, LOVE. My diet generally hews more toward Atkins than Pritikin, although the late Dr. Atkins would not approve of my carb intake. (It’s on the low side, but I don’t shy away from the occasional piece of – gasp! – toast.) Anyway, I found filet mignon on sale over Valentine’s Day (specifically, I found “Tenderloin Butt,” which is a larger cut that includes the filet – I butchered it myself), and stashed some in the freezer to experiment.

Lucky, lucky me. I mean YOU! You, I meant you. Ahem.

The Steak Recipe:
3 strips bacon, chopped
1 Tbs butter
4 small steaks (I used filet mignon) or 2 large, about 1 inch thick
Salt and pepper
1 large shallot, diced
10 oz mushrooms, sliced (1 grocery store package)
1 ½ cups red wine

In a large frying pan, cook the bacon in the butter over medium-high heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, get the bacon out of the pan, but leave the drippings in. Add the steaks, using tongs (TONGS, people – don’t pierce the meat with a fork or you’ll lose all the juice!), salt and pepper them, and cook: about 2 minutes per side for medium-rare. (Add a minute for each gradation of doneness: 3 minutes for medium, 4 for medium-well, etc.)

[While the steak cooks, microwave the spinach in the recipe below.]

Remove the steaks from the pan (again with the tongs, people), and put them on a plate. Cover them with foil to keep them warm.

Add the shallots and mushrooms to the pan, and cook until the mushrooms start to soften, 5-10 minutes. Add the red wine, and the bacon bits, scraping the pan to get all the good bacony-steaky bits off the bottom. Reduce the heat to medium and allow it to simmer until the liquid is about half gone, about 10-15 minutes.

[If you’re making the spinach, now’s the time to finish it.]

Place the steaks on plates, and pour the bacon-shallot sauce over them.

Too-Easy-and-Good-to-Believe Creamed Spinach
2 packages frozen chopped spinach – 16 oz
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup sour cream (I use Daisy brand because I can pronounce all the ingredients, and I usually use Light – mostly because I like the consistency better for this)
½ cup mayonnaise
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ cup Parmesan cheese

*Note: I like garlic – I like to be able to taste it – but if you don’t, use 1 clove of garlic instead of 2.

Microwave the frozen spinach in a large bowl until hot. Add all remaining ingredients and stir to combine. (You might have to toss it back in the microwave for a minute or so – sometimes the other ingredients cool off the spinach too much.)

I KNOW, RIGHT?! How easy is THAT?!

I don’t eat a lot of bread, but if you do, this would be FANTASTIC rounded out with a baked potato or some garlic bread. YUM. Can’t beat a steakhouse meal at home-cooked prices, you know? ;)

(And no, that's not blood. That's the red wine. ;D)

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