What’s one of the best combinations for a fantastic dinner? Steak and mushrooms.
We’re willing to bet your whole family will enjoy a dinner of steak and sautéed or creamed mushrooms, and the best part is that it is a fairly easy and quick dinner to prepare.
So, which are the best mushrooms to pair with steak? The best mushrooms to pair with steak are portobello mushrooms. They have a similar taste to steak and add an earthy flavor without taking away from the natural flavor of the meat. Other great options include shiitake, cremini, oyster, porcini, and morel mushrooms.
Notice how we didn’t mention the plain white button mushrooms you get at the grocery store on sale? That’s because, while hard to mess up, these mushrooms are some of the least flavorful on the market.
So if you’re looking for a way to spice up your mushroom and steak dishes, read on!
The Best Mushrooms to Pair With Steak
When it comes to mushrooms, many of us go immediatelty for regular white button mushrooms at the local grocer. We may choose them because they’re readily available or easy to pair with other foods, or because they are often on sale.
Whatever the reason, you should consider using other mushrooms to cook up with your steak. Why? Because all of the mushrooms we’re about to mention pair wonderfully with steak and bring out new and exciting flavors to try.
Portobello – or portabella – mushrooms are a fairly popular pairing with steak.
In fact, they are sometimes used as a vegan/vegetarian alternative to beef themselves.
They are larger mushrooms, generally around 6 inches across, so you only need a few to prepare a steak dish.
Portobello mushrooms have a very similar umami taste to steak and are a great accompaniment for cuts like sirloin, where the mushroom is topped onto the steak.
They are very hearty and can fill you up quite a bit, so don’t overdo it with the portion size you serve with your steak.
To create a delicious portobello mushroom and sirloin dish, you should grill the mushrooms and the steak together in a skillet with some garlic and butter. The mushroom adds the perfect flavor and extra texture to the steak.
Another option for pairing portobello mushrooms with steak is to marinate them in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then place them in a skillet to sauté or onto a charcoal grill.
This gives a wonderfully acidic taste to the mushrooms and creates a light but flavorful marinade for the meat.
Shiitake mushrooms really work well to enhance the flavor of the steak.
They have a smoky taste that is brought out when cooked. When added to steak, they bring a smokiness which makes it taste more earthy and char-grilled.
When paired with steak, it is best to use fresh shiitake mushrooms, but you can use dried ones as well.
The best way to add shiitake mushrooms to a steak meal is to grill up some flank and then sauté the shiitake mushrooms separately. Once done, the sautéed shiitake mushrooms should be added to the steak and served as-is.
Shiitake mushrooms work well with garlic, holding their own taste with the strong aroma of garlic.
You don’t have to worry about overcooking shiitake mushrooms, as the stems are nearly too tough to overcook, so they should never turn too soft or mushy. Instead, they will be still firm and tasty.
Cremini mushrooms are the brown button mushrooms and are actually just immature portobellos.
They have a very distinctly earthy taste and are more flavorful than normal white button mushrooms.
Since they have a delicate texture, you do not want to overcook cremini mushrooms, but you can still cook them whole or dice them up to fry with steak.
Cremini mushrooms are best when sautéed, as they have a low moisture content and do well when sautéd in oils with butter and herbs.
They can either be used as a topping for steak or can be cooked in the same skillet as steak to give a more earthy flavor to the meat. Prime rib is a great choice when using cremini mushrooms.
Oyster mushrooms have a delicate and briny flavor and can come in a few different colors, such as pale ivory, yellow, pink, or even greyish-blue.
These mushrooms turn incredibly tender and moist when cooked.
They are best when sautéed briefly in olive oil and butter and then added on top of a grilled steak for extra flavor.
They are also great to enjoy raw, so try to cook them for as short a time as possible so as not to overcook them.
You just want them to pick up a nice sauté in the butter or olive oil, and to pick up any other flavors from various herbs or butter.
You can also give them a quick fry in the same pan you used to grill the meat, so they pick up some of the browned pieces at the bottom of the skillet for extra flavor.
Porcini mushrooms might not be as popular to serve with steak as portobello or shiitake, but don’t count them out just yet.
Popular in Italian and French cooking, porcini mushrooms have a woodsy flavor and are used in risottos, lasagna, and different pasta sauces.
However, they’ll work great skewered, brushed with olive oil, and grilled next to your steak.
The mushrooms are not always sold large, so skewering them does help to keep the small ones together and manageable during grilling. Once they are done, you can remove them from the skewer and top them onto your grilled steak.
Morel mushrooms are generally hard to find and are a more expensive mushroom, so they should be used for special occasions.
However, you can freeze morel mushrooms if you end up with too many so that you don’t have to waste them.
They are very strange looking mushrooms, with tall caps and maze-like crevices running along their surfaces.
However, morel mushrooms have a strong nutty flavor and spongy makeup which works to absorb sauces and other flavors well.
To pair morel mushrooms with steak, they should be sautéed in butter and piled onto a perfectly-cooked steak.
Just a note – you should take care to clean morel mushrooms properly, they grow in the wild and can hold tiny bugs.
Choosing The Right Mushrooms
No matter which mushroom you decide to use to pair with steak, you should choose the mushrooms which have a firm texture, and those without any bruising.
Look under the mushroom at the little flaps called gills. They should still be tightly placed together.
As the mushroom ages, the gills tend to get loose and move further away from each other, so use this as a sign to determine the age and freshness of the mushroom.
You should choose mushrooms with tight gills to keep to store in the fridge, as these keep fresh for longer periods, but mushrooms with loose gills tend to have a stronger flavor.
Make sure to wash the mushrooms well to remove any bugs and dirt that might have been left behind after picking.
Pairing Mushrooms With Steak
The most popular way to serve mushrooms with steak is to sauté the mushroom in olive oil or butter and add garlic and herbs or whatever suits your taste.
Depending on the mushroom, it can be sautéed with the steak, or separately and added to the steak later.
Another way to pair mushrooms with steak is to make a creamy mushroom sauce to spoon over the cooked steak. This is also fairly easy to make, with some white wine, garlic, and cream to make up the sauce.
There are a few options to choose from when it comes to pairing the best mushroom with steak. The best all-around mushroom to use with steak would be portobello.
Portobello mushrooms are hearty and flavorful. They add a great deal of taste and depth to a grilled steak.
You can experiment with different mushroom pairings and change up how you prepare your steak to find the perfect combination and preparation for you.
What Else Can You Serve With Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are super versatile and pair well with many different dishes. They can be served on a pizza, piled onto a crostini, used to make a sauce, or added to pasta and stir-fry.
Different mushroom variants have unique tastes and properties that go well with different dishes and styles of cooking, so understanding the different types of mushrooms will help you pair them better.
Is It Better to Sauté Mushrooms in Butter or Olive Oil?
To get a good sear on mushrooms, you should start by sautéing them in some olive oil. Olive oil has a higher smoke point than butter and protects the mushrooms from burning.
If you are using a high temperature and butter, you run the risk of burning your mushrooms. You should also leave the mushrooms to sauté, as constantly stirring them could break them down to turn mushy, and prevent them from getting a nice sear.
Which Herbs Should I Use With Mushrooms?
Mushrooms taste delicious with some herbs added, and some of the best herbs to use are parsley, oregano, rosemary, and marjoram.