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Garlicky wine sauce launches luscious steak

Thursday, October 04, 2001

By Nancy Anderson, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

As fall settles in and the air turns chilly, something hearty and comforting, such as a steak dish, sounds tempting.

It's around this time of year that Barbara Haughney turns to Steak with Wine and Mushrooms, a recipe she submitted to Countdown a few weeks ago.


"I got the recipe from a booklet I received when my first daughter, Kathleen, was born on how to cook and entertain with a new baby," she said.

The "baby" is now 16, and the recipe is still with Barbara. It's one of three in the booklet that she's used ever since.

"I like the wine sauce with it," said the Plum resident. "And in the winter I make it about every six weeks."

We don't get many Countdown recipes for beef, so this one was a welcome addition to our ever-growing array of fast and delicious fare.

It was done in less than 25 minutes, made an attractive presentation and was loaded with wine flavor.

As Barbara promised, the garlic got "real mushy" and mashed easily with a fork, although it wasn't easy to find it swimming amid the mushrooms.

She serves the steak with baked potatoes and broccoli or whole frozen Hanover green beans with almonds.

Since baked potatoes take too long for a Countdown menu, we made Fresh Lemon Rice (an upcoming Countdown recipe) and broccoli for a satisfying, rather fancy and uplifting menu for a gloomy rainy Tuesday.

Working part time for a food broker in Holiday Park leaves Barbara time to chauffeur her two daughters (the second one is Sarah, 13) to Girl Scouts and to volunteer at her church.

She and her husband, John, who works for the government, are Penn State graduates and remain faithful to their alma mater.

"We're avid Nittany Lions fans and go to half the games at State College," she said. "Of course, we always stop at The Creamery before heading home."

Come to think of it, a dish of ice cream would be a perfect ending to today's headliner, too.

Steak With Wine And Mushrooms

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 large garlic cloves, cut in half
1 1/2 to 2 pounds sirloin
Black pepper, to taste
1/2 pound presliced mushrooms
1 cup red wine

In a heavy skillet, heat butter and oil over moderately high heat. Add garlic. Sprinkle steak with black pepper and place in hot skillet.

For medium-rare, cook about 7 minutes (we cooked it 5 minutes on each side); turn, cook 2 minutes and add mushrooms.

Cook 5 minutes more, stirring mushrooms several times. Remove steak to a heated platter in a 200-degree oven.

Pour wine into skillet (we used 2/3 cup because our steak was slightly more than 1 pound) and stir to loosen browned bits. Mash garlic to a paste with a fork.

Increase heat to high and cook 2 to 3 minutes until liquid is syrupy (ours never reached the syrupy stage but it didn't matter).

Slice steak thinly across the grain. Spoon mushroom sauce over meat.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@post-gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

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