If you have ever been to a Portuguese restaurant, you have seen this on the menu. A bitoque is a steak that is pan fried and served surrounded by thick cut french fried potato rounds and a delicious pan sauce. In the north of Portugal, I found it is served without much sauce, and usually referred to as, prego no prato. In Lisbon, you will usually get the saucy deliciousness I am describing. Each restaurant will have it's own version, and sometimes several. This dish is all about the sauce...
My creamy mushroom sauce is one I make often. It has been tweaked and perfected over the years, so I hope you enjoy it. Everyone asks for the recipe and I am happy to share! It is truly restaurant worthy.
Please note the recipe works best with instant beef gravy granules, as it also acts as a natural thickener for the sauce. Traditionally it is served with thinly sliced potato rounds (chips) and a fried egg on horseback, although yesterday, I poached them. White rice, on the side, is also common. The sides are really up to you.
I like canned button mushrooms, but feel free to use any fresh mushroom variety you like.
This recipe is for 2 people and doubles beautifully. The ingredient list seems lengthy, but it should be a breeze if you have your Mise en place (French pronunciation: [mi zɑ̃ ˈplas], is a French culinary term for having all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, grated, etc. before you start cooking.
Bitoque com Molho Cremoso de Cogumelos ❦ Portuguese "Bitoque" Steak with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
2 Sirloin or ribeye beef steaks, approx. 225 g. each, and 2 centimeters thick. At room temperature (take out of fridge 30 minutes before cooking) trimmed, outer fat reserved*
150 g. Canned white button mushrooms, sliced and drained
6 Cloves of garlic, finely chopped (about 2 tbsps.)
2 Bay leaves
2-3 Sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 tsp. Dried thyme
2 tsp. Instant Beef Gravy Granules, I used Bisto brand
1 tbsp.Cold unsalted butter, cold
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, I like the original Lea & Perrins
3 tbsp. Single cream
3 tbsp. Red wine vinegar
60 ml. Extra virgin olive oil
150 ml. Dry white wine
140 ml. Boiling water
Crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Coarse sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
* The fat adds a lot of flavour, but can be annoying once plated to cut steak, so I remove it, but add it to pan while frying steaks.
** Steak doneness times approximate.
Blue: 1 min each side
Rare: 1½ mins per side
Medium rare: 2 mins per side
Medium: About 2¼ mins per side
Well-done: Cook for about 4-5 mins each side, depending on thickness.
1. 30 minutes before cooking, take steaks out of refrigeratper, trim outer fat and reserve. Season the steaks liberally on both sides with coarse sea salt. Set aside.
Gather the rest of the ingredients, so that they are all portioned and ready to go.
Dissolve the gravy granules in the boiling water, stir and set aside until needed.
2. In a high sided frying pan, on high heat, add olive oil, beef fat trimmings and bay leaves. Once fragrant, add steaks and let fry until your **desired doneness.
I recommend frying them to 1 minute less than your desired doneness, as they will continue to cook as they rest and you finish the sauce, They will then be added back to the sauce to heat through.
3. Steaks should have a nice crust on either side, transfer to a plate and set aside, uncovered
Discard fat trimmings. ( or give tem to your dog, as I did :) )
4. Lower heat to low and to the same frying pan add the garlic, thyme, mushrooms and red chilli flakes, if using, and let saute about a minute while stirring. Increase heat to high and immediately add vinegar and worcestershire sauce.
5. Stir to scrape up any bits from bottom of pan. Add wine and cook on high for 2 minutes to reduce. Add gravy broth and cook for 1 minute more, sauce should be thickened.
6. Reduce heat and stir in cream and cold butter. Stir to melt and until glossy.
Taste and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Discard bay leaves and fresh thyme sprigs. Add steaks back to frying pan to heat through, about 1 minute.
7. Serve with your favourite side, I did fried potatoes and white rice, and top with an egg, if desired.
Mise en place (French pronunciation: [mi zɑ̃ ˈplas], is a French culinary term for having all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, grated, etc. before you start cooking.