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Braised Steak in Madeira with Five Kinds of Mushrooms

Mushroom lovers take note, this is wonderful! Cooked low and slow in the oven for 3 hours, the flavors meld beautifully as the beef takes on subtle woodsy notes from the mushrooms. Use exactly the types of mushrooms called for in the recipe, or get creative — any combination you prefer would be delicious. Add a tossed green salad and a loaf of crusty bread and you’re done: the oven does most of the work!

Braised Steak in Madeira with Five Kinds of Mushrooms

½ oz. dried porcini mushrooms (½ cup)
2 lbs. braising steak
2 medium onions, cut in half, then into ½” wedges
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tbs. all-purpose flour
5 tbs. butter
1¼ cups dry Madeira
1 bay leaf
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1½ cups button mushrooms
1½ cups portobello mushrooms
2 cups oyster mushrooms
2 cups shitake mushrooms
1 large clove garlic, crushed

First of all soak the dried porcini by placing them in a bowl with 2 cups of warm water for at least 30 minutes. Drain them through a paper towel-lined sieve, reserving the liquid, and chop them roughly. Meanwhile, trim the beef of any excess fat, cut into 4 pieces and season well. Heat the oven to 250°F.

Heat half the olive oil over a medium-low heat in a large flame-proof casserole and sauté the onions until nicely browned. Remove them to a plate. Add the remaining olive oil, turn up the heat and brown the beef on both sides. Remove and set aside with the onions. Stir the flour into the oil that is left in the pot, along with 1 tbs. of the butter. Slowly add the mushroom liquid, followed by the Madeira, whisking well to blend. Bring to a simmer then add the onions, beef, and chopped porcini mushrooms. Toss in the bay leaf and thyme, cover and place in the oven for 1½ hours.

Chop the button and portobello mushrooms into large pieces and stir into the pot. Replace the lid, a little askew, and cook a further 1½ hours. When ready to serve, sauté the oyster and shitake mushrooms with the garlic in the remaining butter for 2-3 minutes to slightly soften. Remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the mushrooms. If the sauce seems too thin, remove the beef, place the pot over a high heat and boil to reduce.

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