Steak with Mushroom Sauce (Steak Aux Champignons)

Steak with mushroom sauce, riced yukon gold potatoes and char grilled spring onion

After a rather productive week in the kitchen last week, I’ve been feeling wholly uninspired this week. Call it a case of chef’s-block, or cooking apathy, but the mere act of getting myself into the kitchen has felt like chore. I even had a bout with a nagging craving for bad Chinese food, which I finally relented to and sated with a $5 plate of greasy chow fun from around the corner.

Not even my inspiration generating tactics were working, and I started to worry about my ability to feed L and I. So I did what anyone would do in such a predicament and went back to basics, deciding on steak with riced potatoes. Normally, I wouldn’t bore you with a post on something so mundane, but this one deserved its own post for two reasons: I’ve developed a method to cook steak perfectly every time, and the mushroom sauce I served on top was exceptionally delicious.

Filet Mignon salted and peppered

So what’s my secret for a perfect steak? Beyond the usual points like using a very hot pan and salting liberally, I have two tips.

  1. Use a room temperature piece of meat. It prevents the problem of getting a steak with a tough, overcooked exterior and a cold, raw interior. A steak that’s straight from the fridge has an internal temperature of about 35 degrees. To get it to rare, you need to raise the internal temperature to 120 degrees. That’s an 85 degree change that has to happen quickly, so you don’t overcook the exterior. By getting the steak to about 70 degrees before you start cooking it, you only need to raise the internal temperature about 50 degrees.
  2. After searing the steak, put it in a hot oven, then turn it off. With no direct heat source, the steak will gently cook to your desired level of doneness slowly. More importantly, it’s almost impossible to over cook it, since the heat is turned off. The first time I tried this method, I accidentally forgot about the steak, and it was in the oven for nearly 20 minutes. At first, I was livid because my dry aged steak was brownish-pink all the way through, but upon biting into it, I was pleasantly surprised at how moist and tender it was.

The pan sauce is just an emulsion of reduced stock and butter, but the brown fond in the pan from the steak combined with a double dose of shallots and mushrooms gives it a serious wallop of flavour that will tickle your umami tastebuds.

Riced Potatoes

I served this with riced yukon gold potatoes. If you don’t have a ricer, stop reading and go get one. They look like a giant garlic press, and they’re much faster/easier to use than a masher. You don’t even have to peel the potatoes after boiling them since the skins won’t go through the holes.

The blurry twirl in the back of the photo at the top of the page is a char-grilled spring onion. This is a beautiful thing that may just have the best effort-to-tastiness ratio of any vegetable dish. Just wash a few spring onions (sweet onions, picked in early spring when they are still young), and put them a few inches from the broiler until the outer layer is charred black all around. Don’t worry, you want them to look scary burnt. Put the smoking onions into a pot and cover with a lid. The residual heat cooks the onion all the way through and the smoke coming from the charred exterior infuses the whole thing with a wonderful aroma. When you’re ready to serve, just crumble off the charred outer layer and you’ll expose the smoky, caramelized onion within. Sprinkle with sea salt and a splash of olive oil and you’re good to go.

2 1.5″ thick filet mignon steaks
coarse cracked black pepper
kosher salt

1 C wild mushrooms (I used shimeji mushrooms)
2 shallots minced
2 Tbs cognac
3/4 C low sodium chicken stock
1 Tbs butter
lemon juice

Bring the steaks to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the steaks are at room temperature, start heating a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Don’t use a non-stick pan as the high temperature you need to get it to will cause it to release toxic fumes. Generously salt and pepper both sides of the steaks and press the salt and pepper into the surface of the steaks to ensure it sticks.

When the skillet is very hot, place the steaks in the pan and allow them to brown undisturbed until they don’t stick to the pan anymore. Flip and brown for another few minutes on the other side.

Quickly put the pan in the hot oven and turn it off. Allow them to rest in the oven without opening it for 10 minutes for a rare steak, or 15 minutes for medium rare steak.

Transfer the steaks to a plate, then return the skillet to the stove over medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil and saute the minced shallots until they start getting soft. Add the mushrooms and continue to saute until they are limp and glossy and there is no liquid in the pan.

Add the cognac and swirl it around the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Add the chicken stock and raise the heat to high, boiling until it starts to thicken and there’s only about 1/4 C of liquid remaining. Push the mushrooms and shallots to the back half of the pan, then add the butter to the other half. Whisk vigorously to incorporate, then stir it all together. Squeeze a splash of lemon juice in and whisk to combine.

Serve the mushrooms and sauce over the steak.

  • http://www.deglazeme.blogspot.com/ Christina@DeglazeMe

    Marc, this is far from mundane! It is a classic dish with simple ingredients. I appreciate your suggestions for cooking the steak to the correct doneness, this is always my biggest challenge.

  • http://www.deglazeme.blogspot.com Christina@DeglazeMe

    Marc, this is far from mundane! It is a classic dish with simple ingredients. I appreciate your suggestions for cooking the steak to the correct doneness, this is always my biggest challenge.

  • http://souvlakiforthesoul.com/ Peter G

    I don’t know why you think something like his would be considered “mundane”…steak is beautiful, especially as you have noted, when treated and cooked properly. I’m going to try turning the oven off next time and try this method…cheers!

  • http://souvlakiforthesoul.com Peter G

    I don’t know why you think something like his would be considered “mundane”…steak is beautiful, especially as you have noted, when treated and cooked properly. I’m going to try turning the oven off next time and try this method…cheers!

  • http://staceysnacksonline.com/ Stacey Snacks

    Beautiful steaks Marc, but I expect nothing less.

    I made perfect steaks this week in my cast iron skillet, the same method as you, and for a change, actually did NOT overcook them!
    but…..the gorgeous tuna steaks I made the next day were totally ruined by leaving in the pan 1 minute too long.
    The cat enjoyed the well done tuna!

  • http://staceysnacksonline.com Stacey Snacks

    Beautiful steaks Marc, but I expect nothing less.

    I made perfect steaks this week in my cast iron skillet, the same method as you, and for a change, actually did NOT overcook them!
    but…..the gorgeous tuna steaks I made the next day were totally ruined by leaving in the pan 1 minute too long.
    The cat enjoyed the well done tuna!

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    Okay, only you would say this is mundane. That’s why I like you.

    I’m glad you point out the room temperature steak trick–lots of folks are afraid to let it hang out on the counter long enough.

    About the potatoes, a ricer is also “funner” than a masher. Just sayin’.

    Sorry you’ve been feeling uninspired. Take heart in knowing that even what feels like a half-hearted attempt could be served in a restaurant and enjoyed by The Masses!

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    Okay, only you would say this is mundane. That’s why I like you.

    I’m glad you point out the room temperature steak trick–lots of folks are afraid to let it hang out on the counter long enough.

    About the potatoes, a ricer is also “funner” than a masher. Just sayin’.

    Sorry you’ve been feeling uninspired. Take heart in knowing that even what feels like a half-hearted attempt could be served in a restaurant and enjoyed by The Masses!

  • http://www.gourmettraveller88.com/ Janet

    I love mushroom with steaks, yummy!

  • http://www.gourmettraveller88.com Janet

    I love mushroom with steaks, yummy!

  • http://kitchensidecar.blogspot.com/ katiek from kitchensidecar

    I really appreciate posts like this, where the focus is technique on a rather moving target.

    I have been researching ricers and mills. can one be used in lieu of another?

    My spanish senora used to make everything (re: lentil soup and good tomato frito) with a mill.

    Thanks

    • marc

      Thanks:-) I have both, and a mill is probably more versatile (you can force things through a mill that won’t go through a ricer), but the ricer is so much easier to use/clean for potatoes.

  • http://kitchensidecar.blogspot.com katiek from kitchensidecar

    I really appreciate posts like this, where the focus is technique on a rather moving target.

    I have been researching ricers and mills. can one be used in lieu of another?

    My spanish senora used to make everything (re: lentil soup and good tomato frito) with a mill.

    Thanks

    • marc

      Thanks:-) I have both, and a mill is probably more versatile (you can force things through a mill that won’t go through a ricer), but the ricer is so much easier to use/clean for potatoes.

  • http://www.justgetfloury.com/ Ginny

    I’m a complete failure when making steak… I’ll give this a try! thanks! :)

  • http://www.justgetfloury.com Ginny

    I’m a complete failure when making steak… I’ll give this a try! thanks! :)

  • http://lavidaveggie.com/ Jess@lavidaveggie

    Is it something in the air? I hear you on the aptly-named chef’s block. The little that I’ve cooked lately has not been worth writing about – though you surely turned that around for yourself. Buuut, we’re both featured on Cathy’s latest post… that’s a nugget of inspiration there.

  • http://lavidaveggie.com Jess@lavidaveggie

    Is it something in the air? I hear you on the aptly-named chef’s block. The little that I’ve cooked lately has not been worth writing about – though you surely turned that around for yourself. Buuut, we’re both featured on Cathy’s latest post… that’s a nugget of inspiration there.

  • http://cookappeal.blogspot.com/ chef E

    I can literally smell that dish right now…

  • http://cookappeal.blogspot.com chef E

    I can literally smell that dish right now…

  • http://www.glutenfreegourmand.blotspot.com/ Gina

    This sounds amazing, and far from uninspired. I often don’t have the self-restraint to set my steak aside and make a sauce, but this one seems worth the effort. I’ll try your method for perfect steak next time – it sounds like it’ll work. It’s a good point about the steak temperature. Great tip!

  • http://www.glutenfreegourmand.blotspot.com Gina

    This sounds amazing, and far from uninspired. I often don’t have the self-restraint to set my steak aside and make a sauce, but this one seems worth the effort. I’ll try your method for perfect steak next time – it sounds like it’ll work. It’s a good point about the steak temperature. Great tip!

  • http://www.sizzleonthegrill.com/ CB

    “Sear & Hold” to finish is my mantra for folks who cook steaks (and most other food!) on the grill. The best technique of any good cook – using the indoor or outdoor kitchen – is to know when to ‘stop’ cooking and just let things finish! Good advice, good recipe.

  • http://www.sizzleonthegrill.com CB

    “Sear & Hold” to finish is my mantra for folks who cook steaks (and most other food!) on the grill. The best technique of any good cook – using the indoor or outdoor kitchen – is to know when to ‘stop’ cooking and just let things finish! Good advice, good recipe.

  • http://savorysweetlife.com alice

    Beautiful.

  • http://savorysweetlife.com/ alice

    Beautiful.

  • http://bigboldbeautifulfood.blogspot.com/ Ninette

    I’ve never tried that technique for steak. Great idea!

  • http://bigboldbeautifulfood.blogspot.com/ Ninette

    I’ve never tried that technique for steak. Great idea!

  • http://www.everydaycookin.com/ Darius T. Williams

    Love it – and yes, a ricer makes all the difference in the world!

  • http://www.everydaycookin.com Darius T. Williams

    Love it – and yes, a ricer makes all the difference in the world!

  • http://joiedevivreanamateurgourmetsguide.blogspot.com/ Joie de vivre

    Nothing wrong with getting back to basics! (And greasy Chinese food every once in a while!)

  • http://joiedevivreanamateurgourmetsguide.blogspot.com/ Joie de vivre

    Nothing wrong with getting back to basics! (And greasy Chinese food every once in a while!)

  • http://constableslarder.blogspot.com/ Giff

    It’s funny. It’s only in this past year that I’ve become happy with making steak in the house. While I still prefer grilling, I’ve come to like this method of searing on cast iron pan then popping into oven. Now I just wish I had a proper hood vent, cause yesterday (I made a killer grass-fed ny strip steak) we ended up opening the doors to outside :) I finally went out and bought some more grapeseed oil so I had an oil that can handle high heat.

    • marc

      Yea, we have the same fake hood problem here. For steaks I put them in the pan dry which gives them a nicer crust and avoids the smoking problem.

  • http://constableslarder.blogspot.com Giff

    It’s funny. It’s only in this past year that I’ve become happy with making steak in the house. While I still prefer grilling, I’ve come to like this method of searing on cast iron pan then popping into oven. Now I just wish I had a proper hood vent, cause yesterday (I made a killer grass-fed ny strip steak) we ended up opening the doors to outside :) I finally went out and bought some more grapeseed oil so I had an oil that can handle high heat.

    • marc

      Yea, we have the same fake hood problem here. For steaks I put them in the pan dry which gives them a nicer crust and avoids the smoking problem.

  • http://zencancook.com/ Zenchef

    Good, i’m glad to know i’m not the only one suffering from chef’s-block once in a while. I thing i need help with stinging nettle. hehe.
    I like the use of Shimeji mushrooms there. Can’t go wrong with a steak seared to perfection served with a mushroom sauce. A potato ricer is a must to make perfect gnocchi as well.

  • http://zencancook.com Zenchef

    Good, i’m glad to know i’m not the only one suffering from chef’s-block once in a while. I thing i need help with stinging nettle. hehe.
    I like the use of Shimeji mushrooms there. Can’t go wrong with a steak seared to perfection served with a mushroom sauce. A potato ricer is a must to make perfect gnocchi as well.

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com/ Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    So not mundane (I see I agree with everyone here). Having said that I hardly ever have steak. Now, (slightly hungover) your post is making me crave the stuff. I keep meaning to get myself a ricer but they’re damn expensive! I quite like Marsala to deglaze after cooking a steak (it’s funny, cognac always makes me think of Busta Rhymes or Snoop Dogg or something…)

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    So not mundane (I see I agree with everyone here). Having said that I hardly ever have steak. Now, (slightly hungover) your post is making me crave the stuff. I keep meaning to get myself a ricer but they’re damn expensive! I quite like Marsala to deglaze after cooking a steak (it’s funny, cognac always makes me think of Busta Rhymes or Snoop Dogg or something…)

  • Pingback: Creamy Salmon Miso Soup (Sake No To-nyu Jiru) | [ No Recipes ]

  • http://www.foodgal.com/ Carolyn Jung

    Don’t apologize for giving into the greasy take-out chow fun. My husband always like to admonish me that “there are times when you need bad Chinese food.” I’ve come to realize he is actually right. ;)

  • http://www.foodgal.com Carolyn Jung

    Don’t apologize for giving into the greasy take-out chow fun. My husband always like to admonish me that “there are times when you need bad Chinese food.” I’ve come to realize he is actually right. ;)

  • http://noobcook.com/ noobcook

    The steak looks perfectly done, restaurant style. Love the tips as well ^o^

  • http://noobcook.com noobcook

    The steak looks perfectly done, restaurant style. Love the tips as well ^o^

  • http://www.whatdoiwant2cooktoday.blogspot.com/ Jan

    The steaks look perfect and I’m loving the look of that mushroom sauce!

  • http://www.whatdoiwant2cooktoday.blogspot.com Jan

    The steaks look perfect and I’m loving the look of that mushroom sauce!

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ Colloquial Cook

    Guys, I totally vouch for the charred onions. Marc made them at a dinner party once and they were literally assailed, along with the bowl of Romesco sauce he had prepared…

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ Colloquial Cook

    Guys, I totally vouch for the charred onions. Marc made them at a dinner party once and they were literally assailed, along with the bowl of Romesco sauce he had prepared…

  • Trudy

    Instead of a mushroom sauce(not a fan of the mushroom, I konw ridiculous, right?), do you have any recommendations for a leek or garlic sauce?

    • marc

      Sure, just replace the mushrooms, with leeks or ramps. You could also just leave them out and the sauce will still be good from the shallots and the fond on the pan.

  • Trudy

    Instead of a mushroom sauce(not a fan of the mushroom, I konw ridiculous, right?), do you have any recommendations for a leek or garlic sauce?

    • marc

      Sure, just replace the mushrooms, with leeks or ramps. You could also just leave them out and the sauce will still be good from the shallots and the fond on the pan.

  • http://www.kalofagas.ca/ Peter

    Marc, time permitting – I’ll try your “set it & forget it” method. Also a nice way to work on a bottle of wine!

    The marbling on that steak looks awesome…surely a tasty steak.

  • http://www.kalofagas.ca Peter

    Marc, time permitting – I’ll try your “set it & forget it” method. Also a nice way to work on a bottle of wine!

    The marbling on that steak looks awesome…surely a tasty steak.

  • http://brooklynfarmhouse.com/ megan (brooklyn farmhouse)

    Lovely steaks. And ricing is totally the way to go for potatoes, no doubt! I have chef’s block right now…just feeling uninspired. Got a boatload of ramps in the fridge I’m hoping will get me out of my funk. Thanks for this post, it makes me feel better that others go through it, too.

  • http://brooklynfarmhouse.com megan (brooklyn farmhouse)

    Lovely steaks. And ricing is totally the way to go for potatoes, no doubt! I have chef’s block right now…just feeling uninspired. Got a boatload of ramps in the fridge I’m hoping will get me out of my funk. Thanks for this post, it makes me feel better that others go through it, too.

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com/ we are never full

    we totally char-grill spring onions too! it reminds me of what a calçot would taste like. i love how the inside of the “bulb” gets. great steak tips and i will def. agree to #1. plus the liberally salting and screaming hot cast iron pan, to me that will create the perfect steak. unfortuntely, 10 steaks in 10 days will make anyone not want to eat a certain something for a little bit (argentina did it), so steak will be waiting a few weeks for me to devour it once again.

    i actually ate an amazing steak in mushroom sauce in palermo, buenos aires last week and i think they actually blitz some dried hongos to a powder and sprinkled some of it in the cream sauce. the flavor was mushroomy-packed – intense, actually. i think i’m going to try it next time.

  • http://www.weareneverfull.com we are never full

    we totally char-grill spring onions too! it reminds me of what a calçot would taste like. i love how the inside of the “bulb” gets. great steak tips and i will def. agree to #1. plus the liberally salting and screaming hot cast iron pan, to me that will create the perfect steak. unfortuntely, 10 steaks in 10 days will make anyone not want to eat a certain something for a little bit (argentina did it), so steak will be waiting a few weeks for me to devour it once again.

    i actually ate an amazing steak in mushroom sauce in palermo, buenos aires last week and i think they actually blitz some dried hongos to a powder and sprinkled some of it in the cream sauce. the flavor was mushroomy-packed – intense, actually. i think i’m going to try it next time.

  • Pingback: Seattle Something » Moooooooonday

  • Pingback: Garlic Braised Bok Choy Recipe | Guilty Kitchen

  • http://www.facebook.com/KiNgDeeM Nicholas Teri

     Bookmarked! Another recipe I cant wait to try.

  • Amy

    can I do this in a gas oven?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Amy, are you asking if you can do the steak from start to finish using only the oven without searing it first on the stove? If so, I’m honestly not sure what would happen as I’ve never tried it, but if you have an oven, I’m guessing you should have a stove too, so I’m not sure why you’d want to do it all in the oven?

  • ahcli

    is there a certain temperature the hot stove should be at?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      I’ve never measured the temperature of the pan, but the steak should sizzle loudly when it hits the pan.

  • Stormy

    I have learnt so much from this post! I like steak well done and I like eye fillet, but the two are condradictory, except with your method! I can now go back to my favourite cut (I’ve been using porterhouse). The steak I cooked last night was the best ever, thank you!

  • KD

    Oh dear. My dearly departed Dad is not happy at all. He was the “king” of the bbq. The chef of the iron skillet. But never had I heard of from this predominant beef connoisseur to sear a steak & then “bake it”. Sorry Dad, but this works so well to perfection.
    What makes this even so much the better, is that this is one “dish” I don’t have to share or improvise to satiate my significant other who is not a carnivore. He also hates mushrooms.
    So, I gorged on steak & mushrooms this evening. 2 of my most coveted foods. They’d be on my last meal request. And now, they’d have to be cooked the Matsumoto way. This was a lovely meal; best steak I cooked yet to date & the mushrooms were wonderful.
    Thanks Marc! BTW: Please be uninspired again soon. ;-)

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Thanks, glad you enjoyed:-)

  • KKJ

    Ok, we got some shimeji mushrooms from Farm Fresh to You (in CA) so I searched the web for what to do. Found this recipe and and it was easy and delicious! Thank you!

  • Alicia

    I also had a delivery from Farm Fresh to You (CA). We used only the sauce part of the recipe since my husband wanted to grill the steaks. Ended up substituting Captain Morgan Private Stock Rum for the Cognac because that’s what I had on hand. Turned out wonderful. I had never even heard of these mushrooms before, and now I can’t wait to work with them again. Thank you for the recipe.

Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

Shiso Gyoza
Ramp Pesto Pasta
Crab in Cucumber Cups
Samgyetang (삼계탕)
Wallpaper Wednesday: Painted Ceiling at Gyeongbok Palace, Seoul
Pickled Peppers
SVS: French Toast
Chicken Paprikash with Nokedli (Csirke Paprikás)