Prep: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour
for the steak:
1 1-lb grass-fed beef filet (A one-pound steak will serve two people as an accompaniment to vegetable sides, but you can also feel free to serve one full filet per person.)
ground or cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
for the mushrooms:
1 large cluster of hen of the woods/maitake mushrooms
2 long stems of rosemary olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
for the pan sauce:
1 tablespoon ground black peppercorn
2 tablespoons grass-fed butter
3 tablespoons of whiskey
1/4 cup of cream (if you want to make it less fatty, you can use unseasoned/unsalted beef stock instead)
1. Firstly, unwrap your steak and pat it dry with paper towels. Place it on a baking sheet or plate and let it come to room temperature (about 30-45 minutes).
2. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. For the mushrooms, cut the stumpy foot off the bottom of the mushroom cluster and break up the mass into medium-sized mini-clusters and spread them out on a baking sheet. I don't ever let water come near these—just brush off any dirt or leaves or what have you with a paper towel. Water is a big-time enemy of mushrooms as it makes them soggy and flaccid … nasty. Sprinkle them liberally with olive oil. Pluck the rosemary off its stem and toss the leaves in with the mushrooms. Hit it with a couple grinds of fresh black pepper.
3. When the oven comes to temperature, place the baking sheet on the middle rack and roast the mushrooms for about 25 minutes until they are crispy-edged and toasty brown. Check on them periodically, they could be done slightly sooner.
4. When your steak has come to room temperature, sprinkle coarse sea salt on both sides (be very liberal, a lot falls off in the pan). Do the same with the ground pepper.
5. Get your cast iron pan scorching hot over high heat. Add the butter, and when it foams, add the olive oil. Wait 30 seconds and add the steak. Set your timer for 4 minutes. Lightly press down with your tongs or spatula now and again to make sure the entire surface is searing. When your 4 minutes is up, flip the steak and press down again. Set time for another 4 minutes. When timer is up, turn off the burner and remove the steak from the pan and set aside to rest, covered with foil. Let it rest for 5-7 minutes. When the steak has fully rested, slice it on the diagonal (you can slice it really thin or do half-inch slices—this meat is so tender I've never needed a steak knife to serve it.)
6. For the sauce, add the black pepper, 2 tablespoons of butter, and the splash of whiskey to the pan drippings. Cook over medium-low heat, burning off the alcohol, for about 3 minutes. Add the cream, give it a quick stir, and allow it to reduce on medium-low heat for about 3 more minutes. It will thicken and turn a darker brown. Once it has the consistency of a cream sauce, pull from the heat immediately and pour into a serving dish.
7. Plate the mushrooms (garnished with rosemary flowers if you're fancy/parsley if you're basic) alongside the steak. Top with pan sauce or serve on the side.