I’m trying, dear reader, to be better about posting on my blog on a much more regular basis. Perhaps not every day, but definitely more than once every fiscal quarter. And while I was thinking about it this morning, a light bult went on above my head and I said “aha!” One of the things I can do through my blog is share recipes that I’ve tried and enjoyed — a bonus if they are healthy! So, here goes (along with the excitement of how I got to this recipe as well)….
Last week, Patrick and I were at Whole Foods picking up a last few things for our Easter feast (we had a delicious lamb shoulder that I grilled, in case you’re not my friend on Facebook — it was awesome). As we passed by the butcher section of the store, there was a butcher standing in front of the meat case passing out steak samples — oh Hell yes I’ll be there for a quick bite of steak to get me through the rest of my errands. Well, he had a delicious dipping sauce that accompanied it. And I do mean DELICIOUS — Patrick and I both wanted to stand there and just put our faces in the bowl of sauce it was so delicious. But out of some sense of decorum, we decided to instead ask how he made it. He told us it was merely bacon, mushrooms, a dark lager, some heavy cream, and blue cheese. We questioned him a bit more about his preparation process, discussed making this tasty treat the remainder of our time in the store, and immediately got to the car and forgot what he had said about actual amounts of ingredients (though I did remember later it was one beer and 3-4 slices of bacon). Side Note: We both have iPhones and could easily have taken notes on what he was saying while standing in front of the butcher, but that would have been far too easy.
Fast forward to last night (Saturday). We were having 2 of our couple friends over for some grilling and game playing and I wanted to make the same sauce we had sampled. I figured I could pretty easily replicate the recipe, because it’s mostly about tasting it and with limited ingredients, not too hard. So, before heading out of Oak Park after visiting my SIL yesterday, I popped in at their Whole Foods. Got everything I needed and headed home. While on the highway, Patrick let me know we needed a few more things, so I stopped in at a second WF in the city by our house. As I was flying past the butcher section, I spotted the maker of this wonderful sauce out of the corner of my eye — I immediately shouted out “you!” and pointed at him and flew over with my cart to confirm the process of making this delish dish. He told me I was one of many who had been requesting the recipe after last week….well, I took notes this time.
So, what I give you now, is the Bacon-Mushroom-Beer-Blue Cheese Steak Topping Sauce — it was a hit last night with our friends, and I was informed by many that it went great with the veggies and potatoes too.
3-4 slices bacon (I used Oscar Mayer regular cut bacon), cut into small bits (easier for frying)
4 ounces mushrooms, diced (makes for easier cooking)
3T salted butter
1 bottle dark lager of your choice
Heavy cream — this will be to taste, and was approximately 1/4 cup for our recipe
Blue cheese — this will also be to taste, but I used about 6 ounces, crumbled.
Black Pepper — to taste.
Step One: Melt your butter in the saucepan of your choice, add bacon and fry until cooked and crispy.
Step Two: Remove the bacon from the pan and quickly add the mushrooms. Cook thoroughly and until tender — this will vary based on the heat you use and the size of your mushroom bits, approximately 5 minutes.
Step Three: Add the bacon back to the pan with the mushrooms, and pour the entire bottle of lager into the pan. Turn the heat up to high and let it boil away and reduce down until all that’s left is your bacon and mushrooms, with a TINY bit of beer.
Step Four: Stir in a tiny bit of heavy cream to thicken the mixture. (I’m sorry, no more pictures since I was trying to get everything done and my hands were too dirty to take pictures). But you’re all smart people and I’m sure can imagine how the next steps looked!
Step Five: Remove the entire mixture from your pan and put it into either your food processor, or a bowl that you can use with your stick blender (I used my stick blender). Food process/blend the mixture until it is a thick liquid. Start mixing in the blue cheese in big spoonfuls and blend. Taste frequently to make sure everything is tasting rich and yummy. When using blue cheese, you don’t want the cheese to overpower everything else, but you also don’t want the beer to be all you taste if you use too little.
Step Six: Slather all over your steak (or whatever you’re cooking) and enjoy!
I served this with a sirloin tip steak cut, grilled to medium. Prior to grilling the steaks, I used the Char Crust Roasted Garlic Peppercorn Rub for a little bit of flavoring. I also served grilled asparagus that had been marinated in garlic, ginger and soy sauce, and twice-baked potatoes.
Tonight, we are grilling beer-brined, garlic pork chops. Assuming all turns out well, I’ll post the recipe for everyone to enjoy! Bon apetit!