Baked Steak with Onions and Mushrooms
Put away your steak knives: Baked (or “smothered”) steaks are fork-tender and supremely beefy.
Why This Recipe Works
Baked steak, also called smothered steak, is a mostly hands-off dinner that makes the best of inexpensive steaks. Since these steaks (think blade, chuck, or round steaks) have more connective tissue than tender (and expensive) cuts like filets, they respond best to braising. We chose blade steaks for their great flavor and found that this slow-cooking method melted the thin line of gristle that bisects the meat. Browning the steaks with cornstarch before adding the other ingredients introduces flavor to the steaks, creates fond in the pan, and helps thicken the sauce. A base of raw onions and mushrooms forms a bed for the steaks; as they oven-braise in a covered skillet for 2 hours, they steam and release flavorful liquid that becomes the sauce (no broth is necessary). A tablespoon each of tomato paste and soy sauce gives the sauce depth and intensity, and rosemary and parsley add a note of freshness.