Tonight's dinner comes from The Irish Spirit: Recipes Inspired by the Legendary Drinks of Ireland. I chose this recipe because when I was in Ireland five years ago, I noticed that in nearly every pub we stopped in offered some version of this meal. It was a favorite among the members of our group because while each pub did it in their own way, we could count on it to be comforting and filling but also distinctly Irish. An excerpt from my cookbook reads, "Many restaurants and pubs in Ireland serve steak with sauteed mushrooms and onions in whiskey sauce. At the Bridge house Hotel in Tullamore, County Offaly, gaelic steak is their 'house special'. There it's made with Tullamore Dew whiskey, in honor of the distillery established in the town in 1829, but you can use your favorite brand with equally fine results." *
I made a few small modifications but I did my best to stay true to the recipe presented here. I served this with Buttermilk-Chive mashed potatoes.
2 T. unsalted Kerrygold Irish butter
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
4 beef tenderloin steaks (filet mignon), 6 oz. each
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallot, minced
4 oz. white mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. whole-grain mustard
2 T. Irish whiskey
1 c. beef stock
3/4 c. heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Parsley, for garnish
In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the steaks in two batches and and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer steaks to a warm plate and cover with tinfoil.
Add the garlic, shallot, and mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until soft.
Stir in honey and mustard and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Remove pan from heat, add whiskey and beef stock, and return to heat. Cook for 4 minutes or until saice reduced by half.
Whisk in heavy cream and cook for 2-3 minutes, until sauce thickens. Taste, and season sauce with salt and pepper.
- While the cookbook suggests specific Irish ingredients like Kerrygold Irish butter, I used regular old American butter. I would love to be able to cook as authentically as possible, but my local stores don't carry the Kerrygold Irish brand. I'm sure I could find it at a Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, especially this time of year. Unfortunately for me, I don't have either store nearby and I flat out refuse to drive an hour out to get butter.
- I picked up a bottle of Jameson Irish Whiskey for this week. I've got half a bottle of Jack Daniel's tucked away and I wasn't sure if I'd be able to taste the difference, but after a capful of each I realized the Irish whiskey is a hell of a lot stronger than that wimpy Tennessee whiskey.
- You can easily do this without the whiskey. I'm not sure if the book suggests a non-alcoholic substitute. However, the sauce is so much better with it, and it doesn't overpower the sauce. It's just a nice hint of sweetness in addition to the other great flavors.
- The Irish Spirit is a really well-written and organized cookbook. The chapters are arranged around different alcoholic drinks like whiskey, beer, ales, ciders, etc. There are short stories about nearly each recipe, as well as longer explanations of different Irish groups and traditions which explain how different recipes got their names (ex: Black and Tan Brownies". It's been a really great resource so far.
- * Excerpt from The Irish Spirit.