Saturday, December 6, 2014

Kicked Up Home Cooking- Flat iron steak gets boozy

Sorry, more braising.  Actually, I am not really sorry. Since my recent reintroduction to braising I just cannot stop. Better not stand around my kitchen too long- you're going to end up in a pot with garlic, onions, mushrooms and a liquor of some sort!

I had quite a giggle over a recent post on Wini Moranville's blog Chez Bonne Femme. She prepared this recipe from Molly Stevens' cookbook All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking using flat iron steaks but mentioned the old standards of my childhood- top round steak and cubed steak. I remember my mother laboring over the cutting board, pounding the life out of round steak and then cooking it for hours. Sometimes it turned out tender, but most of the time it was just dry and chewy. I can't remember the last time I have seen one of those big platter-sized round steaks in the meat department. I don't really miss them. Flat iron steaks are the new kid in town and I'm going to give this recipe a try myself. The pictures on Wini's blog are mouth watering and the ingredients have everything I love- butter, onion, herbs, mushrooms and a splash of sherry. Boozy braising is right up my alley! Here is the recipe from Chez Bonne Femme-

Smothered Flat-iron Steaks with Mushrooms and Onions

Serves 4

4 3/4 to 1 inch thick boneless flat-iron steaks (you might have to cut 2 large steaks into 4 portions)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound cremini or baby bella mushrooms, thickly sliced
1 large yellow onion (about 3/4 lb), sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, crushed
1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley

Using a meat mallet (or the bottom of a heavy saucepan), pound the steaks one at a time between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap until about 1/2 inch thick. Season both sides of each steak with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow dish and dredge the steaks with flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat the olive oil in a braiser over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Cook the meat, turning as needed, until nicely browned on both sides, but not cooked through, about 8 minutes total. Remove the steaks from the pan.

Reduce the heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the braiser, and when it is melted, add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring as needed, until the liquid they release has mostly evaporated and they've started to brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl.

Return the braiser to the heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter; when the butter has melted, add the onions, thyme, and paprika; lightly season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onions are tender but not brown, about 8 minutes. Add the sherry; bring to a boil while stirring to loosen the browned bits clinging the the bottom of the pan.

Reduce the heat to simmering; return the mushrooms and their juices to the pan and stir to combine. Tuck the steaks and any juices into the mushroom-onion mixture, covering the steaks with some of the mushrooms and onions. Cover the pan and allow to simmer. After a few minutes, make sure that the liquid is at a gentle simmer and adjust the heat as needed. Simmer for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until the steaks are fork tender.

Transfer the steaks to a serving platter, but leave the mushrooms and onions in the pan. Increase the heat to a boil and allow the liquid to reduce to a sauce-like consistency. Season to taste, then spoon the sauce over the steaks. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Doesn't this sound absolutely delicious? So I am going to make it. Of course, that means a Foodie Field Trip to the city to get flat iron steaks and cremini mushrooms. I have cooked with so many different cuts of meat over the years but honestly don't think flat iron steaks have ever been in my kitchen. First time for everything, right? So let's go shopping.......

Back in the kitchen- let's do this! I'm going to start out by prepping my vegetables and have them ready to go. No time for slicing and dicing later when a hot pan is waiting on you, so slicing the onion......

pounding the steaks, seasoning, dredging and all that good stuff.......

and now we are ready to heat our pan. I will be using a Dutch oven because I don't have a braiser pan yet but it will work great in this recipe. The first step is heating the oil and browning the steaks. A nice sear is all you need, you don't want to cook them completely at this stage. Remove to a plate and set aside. I use the upside down lid of my Dutch oven- saves a dish to wash later.

Onions come next and smell oh so good when they're cooking. Look at all that delicious fond building up on the bottom of the pot.

Mushrooms- out here in the country the only thing available was plain old white button mushrooms, but they work just fine. Slice them thickly for a heartier bite. Add the sherry to the pot and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom- those are the tastiest bits in the world and make the best sauce.

Make a cozy little spot in the onions to nestle the steaks for braising. I added 2 cups of beef stock to the pot so we would have lots of leftover pan juices. Cover and let the magic happen.

In just about an hour, you have a pot full of amazing.

I roasted some parsnips and carrots since I had the oven on (warming the house on this cold day) and even managed to slip a dessert in there to bake. The Chef was suitably impressed with this French-style dinner. We had plenty of the delicious beefy juices left over, I chopped up the remaining roasted veggies and tomorrow we'll be recycling that delicious pot into some lovely vegetable soup.

Remember, to get your own copy of Wini's wonderful cookbooks, click HERE

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. Aren't you kind of crazy about Molly's recipe? I love this dish. Glad you enjoyed it too.

    1. I LOVED it !!! Kind of on a braising fury these days.