Yes siree folks, this one is sho 'nuff good eating, if I may say so myself. I got ahold of some rib-eye steaks, at a pretty good deal. Now I bought them from a reputable butcher, don't get me wrong, but the steaks weren't from your regular American grown cattle. In fact, I stood at the meat counter, standing over a dozen or so slabs of whole rib-eyes, poking my fingers all around the cryovac packaging... I guess that's when the butcher came up and asked my intentions.
It was a deal unheard of, a price just too low - $3.99 per pound. I had already check the expiration date, still a few weeks away. The one thing I did notice, all of them had very little marbling inside, almost no fat at all within the eye and trimmed pretty good with the exception of a layer of fat down around the collar. I told him of my concern, that I thought the meat to be almost too lean. He laugh and pointed to the sticker of origin- Mexico. Now, I hesitated for a moment and then thought, what's going on here, what is so wrong with that? (Of course, the 'E' word also whirled around in my head.) How many times have I enjoyed beef in Mexico? True, it was a bit stringy once, maybe not plumped all up like our over-fatten grain fed cattle, but in many cantinas and restaurants, it was some of the best I remember. I replied to him that it's all in the way you cook it, how you season it, and rather or not you use a marinade. We discussed the use of marinades, both of us agreeing that meat nowadays are bred so differently as in days past, some of the flavors we enjoy are just not there anymore. So with that, he said he would go cut me a couple (at the same price) and let me see if I liked this type of beef before I bought a whole slab. Nice guy!
Cheap cut of meat or prime cut, this marinade is one of my favorites, in fact, it is the best marinade I know in flavoring and tenderizing steaks using Tawny Port Wine. Oh, and yup, I'm heading out to buy one of those whole rib-eyes. (see afterthought below)
Tawny Marinated Rib-Eyes with Mushroom Ragoo
I figure, this ought to be awesome with beef from all origins
1/2 cup Tawny Port wine, 10 year old is fine (at least 5 % acidity)
Note: Because of the type of beef used, so lean and all, I marinated it for 6 hours total, and cooked it like I would Arrachera beef removing it when the internal temperature reached between 150 to 160 degrees F. in the thickest part.
|simmer until liquid is syrupy|
1/4 cup chopped red onion
3 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste with a little salt
1 pound mixed mushrooms, shiitake, portabella, oyster or crimini, sliced
1 -10.5 oz Campbell's Condensed Beef Broth
1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic. Add mushrooms and stir until they start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add Port, broth, dried herbs and boil until liquid is syrupy, about 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix flour and butter (beurre manié) together until smooth, set aside.
Bring mushrooms to simmer. Add cream with the tomato paste and boil for about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Keep warm until ready to plate, then bring mixture to a simmer, stir in the reserved beurre manié and cook for 1 minute.
Spoon mushrooms over steaks. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Afterthought: I have also cooked these steaks using my Teriyaki Garlic Marinade and found these to be some of the tenderest around making this deal an exceptional summer find. My understanding is that T-bones on going on sale next followed by NY strips, looks like my freezer will soon be full....