As fall starts nibbling away at summer with its crisp and colorful display, I naturally start craving warmer flavors and heartier fare. This quick and easy pan-seared ribeye steak, finished with Cabernet glazed mushrooms, is the perfect way to ease into the cold-weather flavors ahead. While the steak makes a sumptuous meal for one, it becomes an elegant (and economical) meal for two when thinly sliced and served with seasonal sides such as roasted sweet potatoes and sautéed broccoli. With a few glasses of the leftover Cab, fall has never tasted so good.
With its lower fat content, grass fed beef requires gentler cooking than “conventional” grain fed beef (why is it that we call beef that is fed an untraditional diet of grain, which it is not designed to digest, “conventional?”). It will take less heat and less time than a grain fed steak.
2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms, such as shitake and cremini
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 small shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon or other full-bodied red wine
1/4 teaspoon truffle oil (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Let the steak sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking. Meanwhile, chop and measure the remaining ingredients.
Brush the steak with olive oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook the steak on both sides until browned, 2-3 minutes per side. Put the pan in the oven and cook 4-6 minutes for medium rare. Transfer the steak to a cutting board to rest.
While the steak rests, make the pan sauce. Place the cast iron pan with its drippings over medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of the butter. When the butter is melted, add the mushrooms and toss. Let the mushrooms cook, without stirring, until they begin to brown 2-3 minutes. Add the sprig of thyme, minced shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Pour in the wine and stir, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of butter and the truffle oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Carve the steak against the grain into thin slices and serve with the mushrooms.