Truffle Infused Steak Tartine, Brandy Mushroom Cream Sauce, Homemade Onion Rings

This is not as hard as it looks.  Seriously: it sounds impressive; it tastes professional; it is guaranteed to wow anyone who eats it (even if that person is just you).  There are quite a few steps here, so read carefully, but you’ll be surprised how easy this is.
Let’s dive in.

Time: 90 minutes – 2 hours
Level: Intermediate
Cost: About $7.50 per plate
Serves: 4

Ingredients

For the Onion Rings

  1. 1.5 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 12oz can beer
  3. 1/2 TSP baking powder
  4. 1 egg
  5. 2 cups vegetable or canola oil
  6. 2 large onions, cut into rings

For the steaks and mushroom-cream sauce:

  1.  4 boneless New York Strip Loin Steaks
  2. Salt & Pepper
  3. 2-3 TBSP clarified butter (also known as ghee, recommended), canola oil, avocado oil, or bacon fat – hell whatever you want as long as it has a smoke point of over 400°F
  4. 1 medium shallot, diced
  5. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 80z whole mushrooms, quartered
  7. 1 TBSP unsalted butter
  8. 1/3 cup brandy, for flambé
  9. 1 140z can beef broth
  10. 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

For the Toast:

  1. 1/4 cup good olive oil
  2. 1 TSP Truffle Oil (optional, but worth it if you have it.  Truffle oil is available from Amazon, Sprouts and Whole Foods for not too much and since a little bit goes a LONG way it’ll last you)
  3. 8 thick (1/4 – 1/2 inch thick) slices sourdough bread

Instructions

Preheat an oven to 275°F.

Place steaks on a wire rack over a lined baking sheet.  Rub steaks on both sides with a drizzle of olive oil.  Season both sides aggressively with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Tent loosely with foil to prevent excessive browning and place them in the oven.  Bake in oven until internal temperature is about 115°F.  This will take about 20-30 minutes, but remember:  Cook with temperature not time.  Use an instant read thermometer to verify temperature.

While steaks are coming up to temp in the oven, do three things:

  1. Prep Onion Rings:  Mix ingredients 1-4 in a medium bowl and whisk thoroughly to create a batter.  Slice onions into rings and add to batter.  Stir to incorporate.  Cover and set aside to let rest at room temperature.
  2. Prep Ingredients for Brandy Cream Sauce:  Dice shallots, mince garlic, and quarter mushrooms.  Get brandy, beef broth and cream ready to go.
  3. Prep Toast:  Slice sourdough bread into thick slices.  Add 1 TSP truffle oil to 1/4 cup olive oil and stir gently to combine, set aside and allow flavors to meld.

Once the steaks have reached an internal temperature of 115°F, remove them from the oven and pat dry with paper towels and allow to rest.

Increase oven temperature to 500°F for toast.

While steaks are resting and oven is coming up to temp, heat fat (ghee, clarified butter, avocado oil etc) over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan until almost smoking (about 400°F).  Once fat is up to temperature, carefully place steaks in the pan and sear until dark golden brown, about 3 minutes per side.  You should develop a beautiful fond on the bottom of the pan.  Don’t overcrowd the pan – two steaks at a time is probably good.  Once steaks are seared, remove them and set them back on the wire rack to rest, covered loosely with aluminum foil.  Reduce heat to medium-low.

Carefully add shallots and sauté until mostly translucent, 3-4 minutes.

Note:  Don’t burn the shallots.  If you’re not sure if the pan is too hot, test for temp by tossing 1 little shallot piece into the fat.  If it sizzles and crackles loudly or burns, turn down the heat. 

As the shallots sweat out their moisture, scrape up any fond left behind by the steaks to incorporate.  Once shallots are translucent, add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1 -2 minutes longer.

Add mushrooms and continue to sauté until mushrooms have absorbed most of the liquid in the pan and the bottom of the pan begins to look a bit dry, 1-2 minutes.  Add 1 TBSP butter to mixture and continue to cook, continually scraping and stirring so as not to burn your fond, until the butter is absorbed into the mushrooms.

Note:  Mushrooms are flavor sponges.  Give them time to absorb the deliciousness in the pan.

Once the mushrooms have absorbed most of the liquid and butter in the pan, and the bottom of the pan is starting to look a bit dry once more, crank the heat up to high for about 20 seconds.  Lower the heat, add the brandy, and flambé.  Once the flames have subsided, add the beef stock and bring to a boil, scraping up whatever brown bits might be left at the bottom of the pan to fully incorporate fond.  Add the heavy cream, reduce heat to medium-low, and allow to simmer until sauce has thickened to a gravy-like consistency.  Stir or shake occasionally to prevent burning.

For the Onion Rings

While sauce is reducing, heat olive oil for onion rings in a large saucepan until it reaches a temperature of about 375°F.

Note:  If cream sauce ends up finishing while onion rings are still being made, don’t worry.  Just off the heat and cover, then continue as follows; it will keep warm long enough for you to finish the other steps. 

Once oil is up to temp, use tongs to remove onion rings from batter one at a time, shaking off the excess.  Fry in oil a few at a time, until golden brown, 3-5 minutes per batch.  Using a slotted spoon, remove and allow to drain on paper towels.

For the Toast:

Brush sourdough slices lightly on both sides with oil mixture.  Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake in 500°F oven for five minutes or until beautifully golden brown.

Final Assembly:

While toast is browning in oven do two things:

  1. Strain the mushroom cream sauce into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer to separate the mushrooms from the liquid.  Reserve mushrooms.
  2. Slice steaks into thin-ish strips on the bias.

When toast is finished, remove from the oven and plate – two slices per plate to make four plates.

Place 4-6 strips of steak on top of each piece of toast, followed by reserved mushrooms, followed by a generous drizzle of brandy cream sauce (Don’t be shy!).  Fan additional slices of steak around toast to look cool, if you like, totaling about 1 steak per person.

Serve with onion rings, steamed asparagus (or any other green vegetable) and a robust red wine.

 

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