Does your Valentine love beef? Then this simple, elegant recipe for Mushroom Topped Pepper Steak for Two is the perfect entree for your Valentine’s Day celebration.
Mushroom Topped Pepper Steak for Two
Early February isn’t exactly grilling weather in Indiana. Yet, I feel somewhat obligated to make a fabulous steak dinner for Valentine’s Day. With only 3 of us at home, and one who rarely eats meat, a big rare roast beef was out. I turned to Dorie Greenspan’s stove top cooked Bistrot Paul Bert Pepper Steak and added a few twists. The results were nothing short of phenomenal! Just look at that perfectly cooked rare beef. Bill says he likes it “Just short of mooing.”
Tips for Making These Mushroom Topped Pepper Steaks
Two steaks coated with coarsely ground peppercorns, sauteed in a cast iron skillet, then topped with mushrooms and a creamy Cognac sauce made for a fabulous celebratory entree.
- I dry brined the steaks by sprinkling them with kosher salt then parking them in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight.
- This process helps infuse some salt into the meat for deeper seasoning, tenderized and helped dry the surface for better browning. It’s definitely worth the couple minutes it takes to do this extra step.
- I also added sauteed mushrooms to the mix. Mushrooms and beef provide the savory taste, umami due to the glutamates in each ingredient. Meaty mushrooms, tender steak and a luscious cream sauce make for one unforgettable dinner!
- PRO-Tip: Use a meat thermometer to cook your steaks to the perfect temperature for your taste buds. Nothing worse than an overcooked, expensive piece of top notch beef!
How to Check Your Beef to See if It’s Done
Different cuts and thicknesses of beef and different cooking methods need different cooking times. Some seasoned chefs can tell by using a finger to press down on the beef if it’s rare, medium, etc. I like to rely on an instant read thermometer.
- Insert your thermometer into the center of the steak, away from any bone.
- PRO-Tip: You will want to pull your steak off the heat when it’s 5 degrees below your desired temperature as it will continue to have some carryover cooking time.
- PRO-Tip: Cover the meat with foil as it rests for about 10 minutes before serving. This allows the juices to reincorporate and the beef temperature to rise another 5 degrees.
- Rare beef should be cooked to 125 degrees (pull off at 120º) for a cool red center, medium rare cooked to 135º for a warm red center, medium to 145º for a warm pink center, medium well to 150º for a slightly pink center and well to 160º with little to no pink center.*
More Easy Dinner Recipes for Two
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start planning a romantic dinner for two. An intimate dinner at home is much more appealing than a crowded, overpriced restaurant.
*Cooking temperatures courtesy of Certified Angus BeefPrint
Mushroom Topped Pepper Steak for Two
Perfectly made pepper steak cooked on the stove top and served with sauteed mushrooms and a Cognac cream sauce!
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 2 servings 1x
- Category: Beef, Entree
- Method: Sauteing
- Cuisine: American
- 2 filet mignon steaks (beef tenderloin), 2 inches thick*
- Kosher salt
- 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced or cut in half
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons white wine
To make steaks::
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 cup Cognac
- 1/2 cup cream
- Kosher salt, to taste (I used a pinch)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
- The night before, season the filets with kosher salt and leave them uncovered in the refrigerator.
- An hour before cooking, remove the meat from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Make the mushrooms. Melt the butter in a skillet, add mushrooms, then season with salt, pepper and thyme. Cook until soft, then add white wine and cook until the wine evaporates. Remove from pan and set aside.
- To make steaks, add oil and butter to the saucepan (I use a cast iron pan).Heat pan to medium-high. Sprinkle steaks with coarse pepper and gently press into meat. Add steaks and cook 3 minutes or more per side until internal temperature reaches desired doneness (I remove at 120º for very rare). Remove from pan and cover loosely with foil.
- To make sauce, pour off excess oil, add Cognac to pan and allow to reduce over medium heat. Add cream and cook for a couple minutes. Taste the sauce and add a pinch of salt if desired.
- To serve, place a steak on each plate, mound with mushrooms and drizzle with the Cognac cream sauce.
There is enough sauce to serve 4 if you’d like to serve more guests.
*I recommend Certified Angus Beef tenderloin.