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This quick Steak Mushroom Onion Skillet is one of our favorite go-tos for Date Night. Although there’s some resting time involved, the hands-on cooking is only 20 minutes. That makes this meal totally doable for a midweek dinner!
A diet for the New Year
After holiday gluttony, Phil and I usually try to reign in our diet for a month or two. Our preferred strategy is to cut down on alcohol, sugar, and grains. I guess that what we do is paleo…ISH. But we really try not to think too hard about it and simply combine better diet with exercise. (I write more about that in Healthy Living: Running and Veggies)
This year, we’re asking ourselves, “why not start on New Year’s Eve?” After all, wouldn’t you be thrilled with a delicious, perfectly cooked steak if you had a special New Year’s Eve dinner at your local steakhouse?
BONUS: a home-cooked “steakhouse dinner” is budget-friendly! Not to mention that there’s no driving or crowds involved. WIN!
Steak Mushroom Onion Skillet: how does it fit with my diet?
I will carefully say that Steak Mushroom Onion Skillet is a lowER carb dinner. If you are on a strictly low carb diet, be aware that while these ingredients fit within the dietary restrictions, they do contain some carbohydrates that you’ll need to count toward your daily limit—particularly the onions.
Steak Mushroom Onion Skillet has only a few ingredients, none of which are grains or processed sugars. The one ingredient that doesn’t fit with these diets is the Maggi Seasoning Sauce (which Phil and I refer to as “Magic Sauce”). The sauce is highly processed, so it’s not acceptable for either Whole 30 or Paleo. Instead, you can substitute coconut aminos. They’ll also give you a nice umami, slightly salty flavor. Coconut aminos will also ensure that your Steak Mushroom Onion Skillet is gluten free.
Shopping for steaks, the budget-friendly way
Porterhouse and ribeye steaks are our favorites for Steak Mushroom Onion Skillet. What we buy depends on what deals we find. You can usually find incredible bargains on steak and roasts right after holidays!
One of our most frequent strategies is to buy a boneless rib roast (on sale, of course) and slice it into ribeye steaks ourselves! We vacuum seal any steaks that we don’t eat up right away and keep them in the freezer.
Our local grocery has occasional raging sales on steaks for no apparent reason, which is how we happened to score the porterhouse featured in the main picture for this post.
Making your Steak Mushroom Onion Skillet
The steps I explain here are summarized in the preparation collage below.
Resting the steak (pre-cook)
It’s important to let your steak rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before you start cooking. To prep the steak, dry it off really well with paper towels.
While your steak rests, you can prep the onions and mushrooms. I start heating up my cast-iron skillet when the steak has been resting for about 25 minutes. (Note: if you’re cooking more than one steak, you’ll either need a really large skillet or heat 2 cast-iron skillets, doubling the butter and oil.)
Cooking the steak
Liberally salt and pepper the steak on one side. Then, place the steak, seasoned side down, into the skillet and season the other side. Give the steak about 5 minutes in the skillet without disturbing it. Then, check the steak: when it’s caramelized on the bottom, flip it and continue cooking until the second side is caramelized and the steak has reached your desired doneness. (More on the doneness below!) Spoon the butter and olive oil mix over the steak several times as it cooks.
Resting the steak while you cook the veggies
Remove steak to a cutting board to rest 10 minutes. Meanwhile, add the mushrooms and onions to the skillet (don’t wipe it out!). Saute until the mushrooms give up their juice and the onions have softened, scraping the skillet often with a wooden spatula. Next, add in the Maggi seasoning (or coconut aminos) and continue sauteing for an additional 5 minutes. Slice up the steak and serve with the vegetables.
The “face test” for steak doneness
I always wondered how to check the approximate doneness of my steak without repeatedly poking it with a thermometer as it cooks. As it turns out, there IS a way. It’s not something I’d recommend doing in public, since it involves poking yourself in the face. Yes, really.
If you poke the meat and:
- it has about the same “give” as when you poke yourself in the hollow (fleshy part) of your cheek, the steak is approximately medium rare. There should be very little resistance.
- it has about the same give/resistance as when you poke yourself in the fleshy part of your chin, the steak is approximately medium. (Slightly less give, slightly more resistance.)
- it has about the same resistance as when you poke yourself in the forehead, the steak is approximately well-done. (Very little give, much more resistance.)
Of course, the final test is to check the meat with an instant-read thermometer. Check the recipe below for a breakdown of temperatures for the various degrees of doneness.
Note on serving porterhouse steaks: be sure that everyone gets a mix of the tenderloin and the strip (you can see the parts of a porterhouse steak here).
That’s it! Even with the resting time, this meal is done in less than an hour. Plus, it involves a single pan, so cleanup is a breeze. I wish you all a wonderful New Year!
I’m sharing my Steak Mushroom Onion Skillet recipe with:
- #CookBlogShare , a great food blogger recipe-share hosted this week at Easy Peasy Foodie.
- The What’s For Dinner Sunday Linkup (coming soon!) at The Lazy Gastronome.
- Delicious Dishes Recipe Party (coming soon!), a weekly link party where bloggers share their most delicious recipes and check out other bloggers’ amazing recipes, hosted by Walking on Sunshine.
Steak Mushroom Onion Skillet makes a perfect special occasion dinner, whether it's Date Night or a holiday dinner for two.
- 1 porterhouse or ribeye steak about 2" thick, 2 lbs.
- 1 tbsp butter unsalted
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms trimmed and sliced
- 2 cups vidalia onion sliced into half-rings (see Recipe Note #1)
- 6 dashes Maggi seasoning sauce (see Recipe Note #2)
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt divided (or to taste)
- 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper divided (or to taste)
Pat the steak dry thoroughly with paper toweling. Salt and pepper liberally. Cover with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
When the steak is 5 minutes away from the end of its rest, set a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. After 2 minutes, add the butter and olive oil. When the butter is melted, tilt the pan to spread the butter and olive oil all around the skillet. Add the steak. Leave undisturbed until the bottom of the steak is nicely caramelized, about 5 minutes.
Flip the steak and cook until it reaches your desired level of doneness (see Recipe Notes #3 and #4). While the steak cooks, baste it frequently by spooning the butter/olive oil mixture in the skillet over the top of the steak.
Remove the steak to a cutting board and rest for at least 5 minutes and up to 10.
Meanwhile, cook the mushrooms and onions. Without wiping out the pan, add the mushrooms and onions. Saute over medium heat until the mushrooms have given up their liquid and the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the Maggi seasoning (or coconut aminos), 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Continue sauteing until the vegetables develop a bit of caramelization, about 5 additional minutes.
Slice the steak against its grain and serve with the mushrooms and onions.
- If you are following a diabetic or low-carb diet, please note that the vidalia onion does contain some carbs, so keep that in mind and adjust how much you eat if you're near your daily carb limit.
- If you are following a paleo, whole 30, or gluten-free diet, you can substitute coconut aminos for the Maggi seasoning sauce.
- To get a general idea of "where the steak is" in the cooking process, I press the center of the meat with my index finger. I compare the "give" of the meat to what it feels like if I press on different parts of my face (a.k.a., the "face test"):
- The hollow of my cheek (fleshy with no resistance) = approximately rare
- My chin (fleshy with some resistance) = approximately medium
- My forehead (firm with more resistance) = approximately well done.
- For best results, check the final temperature with an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat (don't touch bone!). Doneness guidelines:
- Rare (120º F – 130º F)
- Medium Rare (130º F – 140º F)
- Medium (140º F – 150º F)
- Medium Well (150º F – 160º F)
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