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~ Mel's Pan-Seared Crimini-Crusted Sirloin Steaks ~

IMG_2092Fact:  I will not stand outside and grill if the temperature is below 40 degrees.  Fact:  It is below forty degrees.  Fact:  I am cooking steaks indoors today and the line forms to the left of the stove.

Great steak dinners & our original hunters and gatherers:

IMG_1661I'm guessing mushrooms have been paired with steak, since, um, fire was invented?  I imagine a big hairy guy, standing in a cave, yanking a hunk of red meat off a sharp spear and throwing it on an open fire to cook.  Meanwhile, an equally-hairy but less imposing woman picks a few mushrooms (growing up through the cracks of her cave-kitchen floor) and tosses them on top along with some wild onion grass for good measure. Voila: The first mushroom and herb topped steak recipe, straight from The Cave Network Kitchen.

 So easy even a caveman can do it!

IMG_1941For the steaks:

4, 1 1/2" thick top-loin strip steaks, at room temperature, about 16-ounces each

freshly-ground sea salt and peppercorn blend

8  tablespoons salted butter, divided

2  tablespoons olive oil

IMG_1945 IMG_1948 IMG_1951 IMG_1969~Step 1.    Liberally season the tops of the steaks with freshly-ground sea salt and peppercorn blend.  In a 12" nonstick skillet, melt 4 tablespoons butter into 2 tablespoon olive oil.  Place two steaks in the skillet, seasoned sides down and season the tops of the second sides.

IMG_2051~ Step 2.  Increase heat to medium-high and sear, 6 minutes on first side and 4 minutes on  second side, turning only once, or until the steaks reach an internal temperature of 110-112 degrees when an instant-read meat thermometer is placed into each one of their centers.

~ Step 3.  Transfer steaks to a 17 1/2" x 12 3/4" baking pan that has been lined with parchment paper and set aside.  Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter into the pan drippings from the first two steaks and repeat this process with the remaining two steaks.  Set all four steaks aside.

IMG_1984For the mushroom crust:

all of the pan juices from pan-searing the steaks

12  ounces crimini mushroom caps, sliced into 1/4"-thick strips (about 4 cups)

4 ounces diced yellow or sweet onion (about 1 cup)

2  tablespoons minced garlic

1/4  cup dry sherry

3/4  cup heavy or whipping cream

6  4"-5" fresh thyme sprigs

freshly-ground sea salt and peppercorn blend

IMG_2002 IMG_1987~ Step 1. Heat pan juices from steaks over medium. IMG_1993Add the mushrooms and saute for about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, leaving any liquid remain in the skillet.  Walk away.

IMG_2003 IMG_2006 IMG_2013 IMG_2017 IMG_2024~Step 3.  Return the still hot skillet of drippings to the heated stovetop. Add onions and garlic.  Cook until onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Add sherry, and using a spatula, deglaze pan by scraping browned bits from bottom of skillet.  Continue to cook for about 30-60 seconds.  

~ Step 4.  Add the cream and the thyme sprigs and adjust heat to simmer gently, until nicely thickened, about 4-5 minutes.

IMG_2032 IMG_2037 IMG_2045~ Step 5.  Add all of the cream mixture, including the thyme sprigs to the food processor containing the mushrooms.  Process the mushrooms and cream mixture to a pasty mix of small mushroom bits using a series of 15-20 rapid on-off pulses, stopping to scrape down the sides of the work bowl with a rubber spatula about half way through the process.  You will have 1 1/2-1 3/4 cups of mushroom topping.

IMG_2059 IMG_2056~ Step 6. Spoon and distribute the topping evenly over the steaks, stopping short of the edges around the perimeter (meaning you don't want it drooping down over the sides of the steaks) and mounding it slightly towards the center.

~ Step 7.  Place pan of topped steaks on center rack of 400 degree oven for exactly 6 minutes. Remove from oven, plate and serve immediately.  If you have followed this recipe as written using 1 1/2"-thick steaks, you will have four medium-rare steaks topped with a golden, slightly-creamy sherry-laced mushroom crust:

IMG_2074Oh my perfectly-cooked fair-weather-girl indoor steak!

IMG_2119Mel's Pan-Seared Crimini-Crusted Sirloin Steaks:  Recipe yields 4 large servings. 

Special Equipment List:  12" nonstick skillet; instant-read meat thermometer; 12 1/2" x 8 3/4" baking pan; parchment paper; cutting board; chef's knife; garlic press; large spoon; nonstick spatula; food processor; rubber spatula

IMG_2111 IMG_2081Cook's Note: Along the same lines as today's recipe, only using filet mignon and wrapped in puff pastry, my recipe for ~ My Love Affair with: Individual Beef Wellingtons ~, along  with my step-by-step instructions and photos, can be found in Categories 3, 11, 21 & 26.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2016)


Marilyn, I was going to mention that you "might" be able to fit all 6 steaks in the electric skillet -- probably two columns of three steaks, not, six steaks side-by-side. In answer to your question, the steak and the potato salad side-by-side on the same plate is perfect and you need nothing else (except for maybe a dinner roll and some butter) -- the salad mixes and tastes great with the mushrooms and the steak -- even on the same forkful. A small cupful of a creamy tomato soup w/a couple of croutons on top would be a wonderful start to this meal!

One more thing!!!😝
I bet I could make 6 steaks in our Presto 16" skillet! 🍴🍷

Great! I will make this with your newest post; the green been, potato salad.
Should I serve the salad on a separate plate, or next to the steak?
Do you think this meal needs anything else to go with it? I don't, but I appreciate your thoughts.

Marilyn -- I don't even have to think about this answer. Yes you can, and, I've done it. You won't have the pan juices from the steak to cook the mushrooms in, but, the mushrooms will still be fabulous if sauteed in a bit of butter and EVOO. Love to you, Mel.

Hi Mel!
I'm thinking about making this for dinner quests on Saturday night. There will be 6 of us. Do you think I could make the mushroom topping beforehand, so I can pay attention to the steaks and talk to guests at the same time?
Thanks, as always! Marilyn

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