Steak and Wild Mushrooms in a Cognac Cream Sauce

This is another recipe that falls under both categories of taking less than 20 minutes to prepare, and requiring only 5 ingredients.  As I believe I firmly expressed already, I really like me a good pepper steak.  And although when it comes to steak I generally believe less is more, I have no problem experimenting with mushrooms and a bit of liquor.  For me, mushrooms are like wine and olives, in that I've learned to appreciate them as I've grown older (not to say I'm old, but you know what I mean). 

Wild mushrooms are fantastic, because they provide such a deep, earthy flavor, and they are relatively easy to work with (they let off a bit of liquid while cooking, which is good for creating sauces).  Today at the outdoor market near my apartment, I had the luxury of choosing between several variations of mushrooms.

There were more mushroom choices than I could fit in this photo, but the ones above seemed the best-looking.  I chose the dark mushrooms in the back center, which are dauntingly enough called trompettes de la mort (trumpets of death - hmmm).  I've had them a few times before and they are fantastic, although I'm sure any other type of wild mushroom will provide an equally great flavor.

In any case, I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did - as soon as I took the first bite, I closed my eyes and thanked whoever's listening for creating ingredients that can make food like this.  I mentioned it in my recipe for steak au poivre, but I think it's worth mentioning again: the quality of this dish depends largely on the quality of the steak - please buy the nicest looking strip steak you can find!  Enjoy with a nice glass of cabernet sauvignon or merlot, and this makes for a high-class meal (at a pretty low cost!)

May your next meal be filled with happiness and fullfilment. 

Steak and Wild Mushrooms in a Cognac Cream Sauce - serves 1

1 6-8 oz top-loin strip steak
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4-cup cognac
1 cup wild mushrooms
2 tbsp heavy cream

1.  Wash and pat dry the steak.  Cover completely with fresh ground pepper, and sprinkle with salt.
2.  Heat oil in a small skillet over high heat.  Once the oil is hot, add the steak and cook until desired doneness, about 8 minutes for medium-rare, turning once halfway through.
3.  Once steak is cooked, remove from heat, and cover to keep warm.  Add cognac to the same skillet (remove skillet from heat while doing this, to avoid any possible accidents).  Return to heat, and cook until cognac reduces slightly, about 2 minutes.
4.  Add mushrooms, a large pinch of salt a touch of pepper, and sautee until mushrooms are softened, about 3 minutes.
5.  Add cream, and stir to combine; once cream starts to simmer, remove from heat and pour over steak.


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