Sunday, April 08, 2007

Beef in Port with Mushrooms

I found a bottle of port knocking around in the kitchen, so I decided to make the most of it's flavour and pair it up with a nice juicy piece of beef and some more mushrooms. I paid a visit to the excellent Union Market on 6th Ave in Park Slope, a local upmarket place with some great organic produce. I came back with a chunky strip steak with some fine marbling, some Baby Bellas and a wedge of nutty 5-year aged Gouda to soak up any wine we might have left after the beef.

You will need, for 2 people:
  • a strip steak, about a pound in weight
  • olive oil
  • onion, one cup, carrots & celery, about half a cup each, diced
  • a handful of thyme leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 cups of ruby port
  • 4 cups of hot beef stock (or enough to cover the meat)
  • Baby Bellas, about 4, quartered
  • Something to serve it with - Mash? Roast spuds? Some shredded cabbage?

Set the oven to 350 F. Chop that huge rectangular slab of beef into 2, straight across. Season both sides and brown all over the hot oil. Set aside to rest. Add the mirepoix and sweat for about 8 minutes. Add the thyme and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring all the time to prevent too much colouring and anything welding itself to your lovely Dutch oven. Add the port, the stock, making sure the beef is submerged. Bring to a boil, lid on, and place in the oven for about an hour. Take it out and add the quartered mushrooms. Lid on again, in the oven for another 15 mins. Remove from the oven, take out the beef and let it chill out for a few minutes while you boil the crap of the sauce on the stovetop to reduce. Pluck the mushrooms out and let keep them warm. Strain the sauce. There's no flavour left in those pieces of onion and carrot - It's all in the braising liquid. Now - Reduce. You need a good sauce consistency. Put the beef in the centre of a plate, scatter the mushrooms around it, and spoon the sauce over and around the beef. I served mine with some creamed kale on the side and mopped all the porty goodness with some crusty bread.

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