Coffee makes its presence felt in this earthy-tasting dish. In addition to the mushrooms, chef Dennis Marron of Poste Moderne Brasserie suggests serving the steaks on a bed of creamy potato puree with wilted arugula.
Veal demi-glace is a rich stock that's concentrated to a syrupy glaze. You can make your own (see related recipe online) or buy it in small portions at larger grocery stores.
Servings: 2 - 4
- For the steak
- Two 12-ounce boneless rib-eye steaks
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup coffee beans, coarsely ground
- 2 tablespoons to 1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- For the sauce
- 1 cluster hen of the woods mushrooms (may substitute other wild or cultivated mushrooms), cleaned and broken into bite-size pieces (about 4 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 2 tablespoons Kahlua
- 2 tablespoons good-quality brewed coffee
- 2 tablespoons brewed espresso (may substitute any strong brewed coffee)
- 6 tablespoons veal demi-glace (see headnote)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
For the steaks: Season the steaks with salt to taste. Combine the ground coffee beans and pepper on a plate. One at a time, press each side of the steaks firmly into the pepper-and-coffee mixture to form a crust.
Heat a cast-iron skillet, large enough to accommodate both steaks without crowding, over medium-high heat. Once the skillet begins to smoke, add oil and swirl to coat. Add the steaks and cook for 3 minutes on each side (medium-rare). Transfer to a platter to rest.
Add the mushrooms to the hot skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 seconds. Carefully add the brandy and Kahlua; it can flame up, so keep it away from the heat source. Then add the coffee and espresso; use a wooden spoon to dislodge any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Remove from the heat.
Transfer the mushrooms and liquid from the skillet to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until the liquid has been reduced by half, then add the demi-glace and cook until heated through. Whisk in the butter until thoroughly incorporated. Remove from the heat. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
To serve, place the steaks on individual plates (for 4 servings, first cut each steak in half), then divide the mushroom between or among the plates. Pour the sauce around each portion and over the mushrooms.
From chef Marron at Poste Moderne Brasserie in Penn Quarter.
Tested by Mary Pat Flaherty.
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