Steak is typically off my menu when the weather turns cold.  I usually don’t even see the point in eating steak unless it is cooked on my charcoal grill.  But my wife found a great marinade recipe (and no, the marinade did not include beer!), and with a nice bottle of stout I’d been wanting to try on hand, I gave the broiler a try, and was so happy I did.

 

Broiled Flank Steak with Mushrooms

 

For the steak:

1 to 1-1/2 lb Flank Steak

1 medium onion

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 tamari or regular soy sauce

 

Season steak with salt and pepper, and put into a large plastic zip-top bag.  Chop onion, and stir together in a bowl with the other ingredients.  Pour into bag with steak, and marinade for several hours, or up to 2 days, turning occasionally.

 

When ready to cook, remove steak from bag, discard marinade, and put onto broiler pan.  Set oven rack to 3” to 4” below broiler, and set broiler on high.  Cook anywhere from 6 to 8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak and your desired doneness.

 

Transfer steak to a cutting board, and cut at a 45-degree angle across the grain into thin slices.  Serve topped with mushrooms and sauce per recipe below:

 

For the mushrooms:

3/4 lb portobello mushrooms

3/4 lb white mushrooms

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 stick of butter

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2-1/2 tablespoons tamari or regular soy sauce

1/8 cup sugar

 

Wisk together the vinegar, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl.  Set aside.

 

Halve, then slice the portobellos into 1/4” thick slices.  Put 1/4 of a stick of butter in a pan over medium heat, add about half of the chopped onion, cook for 1 minute, then add the portabellas.  Stir occasionally, until mushrooms are well-browned and most of the liquid has evaporated from the pan.  Set aside in a bowl.

 

Slice the white mushrooms into 1/4” thick slices.  Put the other 1/4 stick of butter in the pan, and add the rest of the chopped onion.  Cook for 1 minute, then add the white mushrooms.  Again, stir occasionally, until mushrooms are well-browned and most of the liquid has evaporated from the pan.  Increase the heat to medium-high, add the already cooked portobellos, along with the vinegar-soy sauce mixture.  Allow to boil for approximately 3 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly.  Serve over sliced steak.

 

*****

 

My perfect beer pairing for this steak is Green Flash Stout.  Only recently available in New Jersey, Green Flash Brewing was founded six years ago just outside the micro-brew mecca of San Diego, California.  Well-known for their hop-heavy West Coast IPA and other hoppy brews, their stout is a more balanced offering, but still with a noticeable hop presence.

 

It pours a deep ruby-cola hue, almost black, with a frothy, foamy head the color of chocolate milk.  An initial caramel and brown sugar sweetness is soon followed by an earthy middle of cocoa powder and bakers chocolate.  The finish is earthy as well, with flavors of roasted walnut, sasparilla, and bitter root; just enough bitterness to balance the initial sweetness.  The mouthfeel is thick and creamy; rich enough to be memorable, but not so rich that you can’t finish a pint or two.

 

The sweet, bitter, and earthy flavors in the stout both compliment and contrast the sweet and tangy flavors in the steak marinade and mushroom sauce.  While both the steak and the stout are extrememly enjoyable on their own, the pairing brings both to new heights.

 

Definition: Stout

The stout style was originated by the Guinness Brewery of Ireland, who brewed several types of porter, including their “Extra Stout Porter”, a particularly rich and flavorful take on the porter style of beer so popular in England at the time.  Eventually, the word Porter was dropped from the name, and Guinness became the mother of all stouts to come.  Key to a stout is the roasted and chocolate barley malts that provide the distinctive flavor and color to the style.  While I’ve found quite a few stouts over the years I enjoy more than Guinness, I must still tip my hat to (and enjoy the occasional pint of) the original.

 

Beer Quote:

 “Fermentation equals civilization.”

                                     – John Ciardi

 

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