Another great benefit of being a member of the Foodie Blogroll are notifications to sample giveaways by companies looking for new recipes to be created with their amazing products. One such announcement was for dried morel mushrooms from Marx Foods. I was so excited to see an announcement for mushrooms as they're one of my most favorite foods.
The nice people at Marx Foods sent over a small box of dried mushrooms right away, and to my shock I received not a single sample of morel mushrooms, but seven samples! Thank you!
I have used Porcini and Shiitake mushrooms before on the blog, so I decided to try the Matsutake since I had not heard of this variety out of the mix.
Matsutakes are a savory mushroom, with a bold flavor when cooking. The mushrooms from Marx Foods are harvested in the Northwestern United States, although this mushroom is highly sought after in Asia where it also grows in areas that are difficult to harvest from, and can be sold under the name "Pine Mushroom".
My brain began flipping through numerous recipes I could use these wonderful mushrooms in, but a small thought kept creeping into the forefront...dried mushroom crusted steak. I had seen a post on A Life for Spice which mentioned this cooking technique that infused the meat with a strong, savory flavor once seared. As you may know, I do not eat beef...for a very long time. I'm not a vegetarian, but beef was something I never enjoyed and it didn't agree with my digestive system. As to why this beef recipe out of all the others I've seen throughout my life sparked my interest, I can only barely explain. I assume it has something to do with the dried mushroom crust, although many beef recipes often come with a mushroom sauce. The difference is negligible, but I wasn't interested enough to actually consider purchasing a steak and following through to eating it.
Then enters Rouxbe. The opportunity to have access to online cooking instructional videos which could show me how to properly prepare a piece of beef gave me the confidence boost to try steak.
I headed over to my co-op and perused the organic, grass-fed meat section. If I was going to eat beef, it was going to be a source I trust to provide natural beef without any chemicals or unnatural processing involved. I settled on a modest piece of sirloin that was under $3! I believed this would provide me with plenty of surface area for the dried mushroom rub and wasn't an overwhelming piece to either cook or consume.
I saw a beautiful bunch of brussel sprouts, which is one of my favorite vegetables, and settled on carrots for their bright color. I love using my zester to create a different look and texture when serving hearty vegetables, plus it makes for a lovely presentation compared to just chopping the same old circles.
The process of preparing and cooking the meat was surprisingly easy and swift. Turning the dried mushrooms into a powder only took the press of a button, and the sirloin did not need any trimming. The thin slice of meat also only needed to cook for a few minutes total.
The hardest part was actually taking a bite. I normally dive right into my plate, but I have to admit it took me a few minutes to realize what I was about to do. I thought back over all the steps I'd learned from Rouxbe - only cooked the meat once on each side, left the meat slightly pink in the middle, allowed the meat to rest before slicing - and decided it was time for the taste test. After a few deep breaths, I cut a small bite and slowly started chewing.
The crust was a melody of flavors, very savory and deep, which was the first thing I tasted. I was very pleased with my spice rub! The meat began to come into the picture, but it was more rustic than I remember from childhood, which was pleasant. However, to be honest, I found the texture still off-putting and the flavor is not as enjoyable as other meats I usually eat. This might be due to the type of meat I used. I'd be willing to continue learning and try to discover a softer piece of meat and combine it with a slow cooking method to produce fork-tender results. The other meat-eaters in the house were happy with their meals, so I am confident in suggesting this recipe. I just need to find a type of beef to personally enjoy.
Matsutake Crusted Sirloin
1 tbsp dried matsutake powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp curry
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp celery seed
6oz sirloin tip steak
Rouxbe Preparation Video:
Mix all the spices together and place on a plate. Coat the sirloin on both sides. In a small pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat.
Using tongs, move the sirloin into the pan and cook for 2min on both sides, using the one-flip method as in the Rouxbe video. The sirloin will be medium-well.
Brussel Sprouts with Pecans
1/4 cup chicken broth
8 large brussel sprouts
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3oz pecans, chopped
Prepare the brussel sprouts by peeling back the first few leaves and rinsing the sprouts. Cut off the firm bottom portion, cut the sprouts in half, and then into thin slices.
In a small pot, warm the chicken broth over medium-high heat and add the sliced brussel sprouts, salt, and pepper. Cook for 10min, stirring occasionally. After plating, sprinkle the pecans as a garnish.
Peel the carrot with a vegetable peeler, and then zest as much of the carrot as possible. Using a small pot, fill halfway with water and place over medium heat. Once the water begins to steam, add the zested carrots and cook for 2min. Drain the water and add butter to taste.
~Original by Brie.
~Original by Brie.