This makes plenty of sauce for a 1 1/2 pound hanger steak for two—and it doesn’t have to be hanger (onglet) steak at all; I’m just being de rigeur.

1/3 cup of dried porcini mushrooms,
rinsed and broken into fairly uniform pieces
1/2 cup Madeira wine
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 large shallots, minced
1/2 cup heavy cream (or creme fraiche, if you’ve got it lying around)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or less)
salt and pepper to taste

In a glass measuring cup, pour Madeira wine over dried mushrooms just to cover. Microwave on high for a minute or just until boiling. Set aside to cool for a few minutes, then stir in sherry and lemon juice. Let soak for a half-hour, then remove the mushroom pieces and strain the liquid through a fine sieve to remove any grit.

After a high-heat saute of steaks in a large cast-iron pan, remove steaks and, if necessary, drain all but about 2 tablespoons of fat. Keep the steaks warm with an aluminum foil tent.

Over medium heat, carefully add the mushrooms and their marinade into the hot pan and stir vigorously for 2 minutes.

Add shallots, and stir just until they begin to color.

Off heat, stir in cream and balsamic. Taste. Adjust seasonings. Pour over steaks. Yum.

Yield: Plenty for two portions; easy to double

Copyright © 1999 - 2007 by Tom Steele. All rights reserved.