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story.lead_photo.caption Skirt Steak With Creamy Mushrooms (For The Washington Post/Laura Chase de Formigny )

On occasion, I still like to make a "Sunday" dinner. Not like the ones I remember from decades ago with a mountain of golden fried chicken, creamy potato salad, green beans and rolls. These often are less ambitious meals, but they still have that little something extra — that spin that makes you want to set the table, pull out the matching napkins, maybe light a candle and open a bottle of the good wine.

I don't always wait for Sunday either. I use the term to describe meals that deliver a full-stop, sit-down and enjoy-the-food supper.

What sets these meals apart is the extra effort that goes into at least one dish. The creamed mushroom sauce that I recently spooned atop humble skirt steak is a perfect example of what I'm talking about.

The rich sauce complements beef, but it would elevate a broiled chicken breast, taste great on pan-fried tofu or make you swoon atop homemade mashed potatoes.

Serve the sauced meat with your favorite green vegetable or a veg-filled salad, warm up a loaf of sourdough, sit down and enjoy.

Skirt Steak With Creamy Mushrooms

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated
  • 10 ounces fresh mushrooms, such as baby bella or button, wiped clean, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup dry sherry, Madeira or white wine
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, plus more for serving, divided use
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound skirt steak, cut into 4 equal pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute more, then add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Cook until the liquid released by the mushrooms evaporates and the onions and mushrooms wilt, 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mushroom mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, decrease the heat to medium.

Add the sherry and 1 tablespoon thyme and stir to combine, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Decrease the heat to low and simmer, stirring a couple of times, until the sherry evaporates, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in the cream, then taste and adjust seasonings, if needed. Let the mushrooms simmer for about 2 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat.

Make the steak: Pat the meat dry and sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme.

In a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the steak and cook, undisturbed, 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare. The meat should be just charred.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board, let rest for 2 minutes and slice each piece thinly against the grain.

Divide the steak among plates. Spoon creamed mushrooms on top and sprinkle with more fresh thyme leaves, if desired. Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 520 calories, 27 g protein, 37 g fat, 8 g carbohydrate (3 g sugar), 122 mg cholesterol, 495 mg sodium and 1 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 1.

Creamy mushrooms adapted from "Sunday Dinners" by Diane Cowen (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2013)

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