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MAITAKE BBQ SKIRT STEAKS

BARBECUE. Just hearing the word makes me think of big skies, backyards and horseshoes. Grills blazing, smoke bellowing, beer drinking, lazy days with family and friends. In the mountains, on the coast, no matter what regional style BBQ, the common thread is good grub and bringing people together.

Ingredients

4 T oil or spray can canola
1 lb Maitake mushrooms, as skirt steaks (This will be a few mushroom clusters.)
1 T BBQ seasoning
2 C BBQ sauce, Austin’s Own
1/2 C beer, Deschutes Mirror Pond Pale Ale (drink the rest)
1/4 C Marshall’s Haute Sauce Habanero Carrot Curry
1 t salt, coarse grind, Jacobsen’s Sea Salt
1 t pepper

Instructions

1. Heat cast iron pan on medium heat, add 2 T oil right before you place the mushrooms to begin cooking.

2. PRESSING MUSHROOMS: Separately, on 1/2 sheet pan, lay out all mushrooms in whole clusters and with a pastry brush lightly dab 2 T of oil to the mushrooms to apply a light coat in which the seasoning will stick to (or spray lightly with spray oil). Then add to heated cast iron pan and weigh down with additional cast iron pan or heavier cover to create a press. Cook for 2 -3 minutes like this, then flip over (make sure there is a little bit of oil on the pan when flipping the first time to eliminate any sticking and tearing of the steaks). Sprinkle a bit more of the bbq seasoning and press down again. Repeat this process several times until mushrooms are condensed and pressed into crispy golden brown steaks with minimal to no liquid in the pan.

NOTE – depending on the mushrooms (cause they’re all different) some steam and liquid will leach out more than others. be careful when removing the top press so as not to get burned and don’t fret it might take a couple minutes longer to cook, the liquid will dissipate.

3. SAUCING: When the ‘shrooms are pressed ready and golden brown, remove from heat and assemble on a 1/2 sheet pan. In a medium size bowl, add BBQ sauce, beer and Spicy Marshal Haute Sauce and whisk together well. Lather the ‘Shroom steaks heavily with BBQ sauce mixture on both sides. If you want to prep these the day before, allow them to marinate in the BBQ sauce over night.

4. GRILL: On medium hot grill, place each Maitake steak on grill and cook on each side for 5 minute intervals, being mindful not to burn too much. Every 5 minutes baste the steaks with extra sauce to coat and add moisture. After several times of this and desired char is achieved remove from heat and platter. Allow to cool a couple minutes before slicing. Depending on the size of the steaks, serve sliced with fresh herbs and extra BBQ sauce, warmed for dipping.

Notes

Use this same method for oyster mushrooms. Oysters tend to hold more water so take note, when pressing these they will leach out more liquid – that’s ok. Be aware, they will have a softer more juicy texture much like a chicken breast in comparison.

Two medium to large cast iron pans or one cast iron and one or two bricks wrapped in tin foil will be needed in the beginning press process. It can be done with other style pans, you’ll just have to watch closely to make sure there is no burning, if you feel it’s burning, lower heat slightly and or add a table spoon of water or beer to help with that. The result we are looking for is a golden brown, nicely pressed mushroom that will mimic the meat textures you’re looking to recreate.

There are several variety of maitake mushrooms that are cultivated and foraged all ranging in size and different textures. Some other names are Hen of the Woods and Sheep’s Head Mushroom. All varieties will work in the application in the video. We used a mainly all-white Maitake found frequently at the Portland Farmers market, my favorite place to shop. The key is to keep them in their cluster whole form, the bigger the better.

For wicked hard core grillers, try doing these mushrooms low and slow for added texture and taste. I treat em just like I would any thing else slow roasted on the grill. Amaze-balls!