Sunday, May 6, 2012

To Be Omnivorous: Grass-fed Sirloin Filet with Balsamic-Glazed Mushrooms and Onions

Is this the first ever meat recipe on Fiddlehead? I think it is!

So, I've been mostly pescetarian for the last couple of years, but I've allowed myself meat on occasion (I guess that's called "flexitarian"). Practically speaking, I've been mostly vegetarian. My reason for a mostly veg lifestyle is not animal rights, exactly. Basically, I'm disgusted by the industrial agricultural system and would prefer that my food, from meat to grains to fruits and vegetables, come from farming methods that are supportive of the physical environment, are humane to animals and are ethical in regards to labor and socio-economic policies.

Recently, I've found that my health -- specifically, my digestion, weight and energy level -- is not well-supported by a strictly vegetarian diet. I find that I end up eating too much bread, cheese and sugar if I remove meat altogether. Call me old-fashioned, but I feel that if you have to take a bunch of protein supplements, probiotics and enzymes just to digest your food on a daily and consistent basis, you're eating the wrong food. And, can we just mention how expensive all of that crap is?

I could easily rail about how hard it is to find healthy vegetarian options in restaurants and other eateries. Yeah, you can find a grilled cheese sandwich wherever you go, but that means you have to eat a stupid grilled cheese sandwich wherever you go.

No, I'm not going Atkin's. No fads here. I eat whole grains, pasta very occasionally, bread only under duress or if it's truly special. I like lots of fruits and vegetables. I don't really like processed foods, and the ones I do, I find I can live without or can find healthy substitutions for. For instance, chips and crackers are not all equal; Wasa bread and some brands of tortilla chips are oil-free or nearly so.Carrot sticks and other vegetables, even apple slices, are often just as enjoyable with cheeses and dips. Sugar is the tough one because I have a sweet tooth. But, I think I can curb my craving if I bring back meat, oddly enough. Meat is a lot more satisfying to me than grains and beans, and satisfaction keeps cravings from surfacing.

So, enough preamble. What did I do to this filet? It was very simple:

Grass-fed Sirloin Filet with Balsamic-Glazed Onions and Mushrooms
(serves just your selfish self -- one serving)

1. Place a heat-proof plate in the oven and turn the oven on to a very low temperature (preferably less than 200 degrees).
2. Heat 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan.
3. Rub sea salt and freshly ground black pepper into both sides of a 3-4 oz. sirloin filet. Place in frying pan.
4. Cook on each side on med-high heat for five minutes for medium rare/rare. If you like it more cooked than that then you are a crime against food.
5. When the meat is "done" (which is not quite done, but finished with the formal cooking process), remove to the plate in the oven. The meat will cook a little more, so if you don't want that to happen, shut off the oven or skip this part altogether.
6. Add as much thinly sliced onions and mushrooms as you want to eat to the pan. Once the mushrooms start to brown up, add a little salt and pepper.
7. Reduce the heat and add at least a tablespoon of good balsamic vinegar and stir. The vegetables will probably suck up all the vinegar. This is a good thing.
8. Add a little stock (any kind) and stir. The more liquid you add, the more sauce you will have. For my meal, I did not want sauce, so I added just enough stock to add savoriness and to keep the mushrooms from getting crunchy.
9. Remove meat to a plate with lightly dressed salad (I made an impromptu dressing of lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and seasonings), and sprinkle the mushrooms and onions on top. Thoroughly enjoy.

1 comment:


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