I should probably keep myself to myself on this, but doesn't "panfrying" with mushrooms in the pan sort of stew the meat?
I'm with kuan, suzanne and shel, although my technique differs slightly -- plus I'd like to add a pro techique everyone does, but for some reason no one ever talks about. An added benefit of "pan-broiling" is the taa-daa BIG FINISH.
Remove your steaks from the fridge, and marinate it on the kitchen counter in a mix made of
1 tbs EVO,
1 tbs red wine, madeira or sherry, and
1 tbs Worcesterhire sauce.
for anywhere between 10 minutes and 1/2 hour. Note, This is enough marinade for two steaks, there should be very little liquid in the pan, just enough to coat the bottom. In a short time, the marinade will mix with the steak's juices and thicken to a heavy syrup. This is a good thing.
About 5 minutes before cooking, drain the marinade from the pan and season both sides of the steaks with Morton's Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. You may, if you like, use my California Dry Rub for Beef instead.
California Dry Rub for Beef:
1/4 cup Morton's Kosher salt,
1-1/2 tbs fresh, coarsely cracked black pepper,
2 tsp California chili powder or sweet-medium paprika,
2 tsp granulated garlic,
1 tsp granulated onion,
pinch sage, and
One of the big differences between home and professional cooks is that home cooks tend to under-season. Don't be intimidated. Judge how much rub you'll use by the concentration of salt.
In the meantime, finely mince a tbs or two of shallots and parsley, and prep your mise en place with:
1 oz cognac,
2 oz madeira sherry, or more cognac, if desired,
1/4 cup heavy cream,
1-1/2 cold, salted butter, cut into 3 pieces,
1/2 tspdijon mustard if desired, and
green or pink pepper corns if desired.
Heat a heavy but responsive (not cast iron) pan that can take some abuse to near searing temp and add a couple of drops of EVO, swirl the pan so the oil coats the bottom. The hot oil will run very freely. It will also start to smoke quickly. Get the steaks in the pan immediately and let them sear.
Here's the tip part: Don't touch those bad girls. Don't lift them. Leave them alone for at least 2 minutes. Shake the pan gently to see if they'll release on their own. If not, leave them alone for another minute and give the pan another, more vigorous shake. If the still won't move, knock them on their side with your spatula or tongs to get them sldiing. Once sliding, you can turn them.
When the steaks are turned, let them cook for no more than a minute before putting them, pan and all, in a 400 degree oven. Assuming a 6 oz, 1-1/2" fillet remove them from the oven after 7 minutes for a point. Remove the steaks from the pan to rest on a warm plate.
if there's substantial fat in the pan, drain about 2/3 and return the pan to the stove. If the pan is more or less dry, just return it to a hot flame. Flame off an ounce or so cognac. When the flames have died, unstick the fond and add your aromatics (except for the parsley), and move everything around around with your tongs-- incorporating the fond. Then add the additional wine or booze if you're using it and let it reduce. Add the cream and as soon as it comes to a boil reduce the heat to medium and stir until the sauce has reached nappe consistency. Whisk in 1-1/2 tbs of butter, broken into 3 pieces, one small piece at a time, incorporating each piece before adding another. Turn off the heat before adding the last piece and incorporate that with the residual heat. Whisk in half the parsley.
Plate the steaks with the best presentation side up, rotated it so their best looking part is closest to the plate's edge. Sauce with a soup spoon, covering 1/2 - 2/3 of the surface of the filet, leaving the best looking part naked. Use enough sauce so it drips generously onto the steak forming a small puddle. Add just enough parsley for a fresh appearance.
1. There are a number of techniques within this simple recipe. Searing includes encouraging meat proteins to undergo a process similar to carmelization, called the Maillard reaction. When done right, most of the browned, crystallized proteins stay with the surface of the meat and some, along with a touch of seasoning from the meat, will stay with the pan. If you remove the meat from the surface of the pan too soon, you'll alter the reaction and the meat will never brown properly. If you wait too long, the taste will move from sweet to bitter. Fortunately, a clean, smooth, seasoned or lightly oiled pan, will hold the meat until it's ready to turn, then release it at exactly the right moment.
When the meat goes into the oven, the surface temperature actually goes down slightly and the juices will begin to run -- slightly. When these juices hit the hot pan they, along with the glaze from the sear process form the fond, which in turn, structures the reduction sauce.
2. The sauce is called a "pan reduction," and it is a "nappe." The recipe I've given you is a simple, classic, yet typical reduction. The constants are the deglaze and incorporation of fond, and the final nappe consistency. Don't mess with them. The range of ingredients is enormous, feel free to substitue anything for anything else as per your whim. Simplicity is key. Remember the meat is the painting and the sauce its frame. And even within the context of the sauce itself, your goal is to high-light the fond.