I have never found an onion I didn’t want to spit out of my mouth – until now.
My wife found this recipe last week and we decided to try it out over the weekend. She has always been telling me that onions are sweeter when they get caramelized. I tried one of her onions before and found it way to slimy and disgusting, but those were sliced onions. This calls for chopped onions. I also thought the addition of whiskey might make the onions easier to take. I tweaked things slightly, but here is the official recipe. Read below for my changes.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 4 ounce beef top sirloin steaks
- 1 clove garlic, cut in half lengthwise
- 1/4 cup Irish whiskey such as Jameson®
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf
- Heat vegetable oil and butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat until butter has melted.
- Cook and stir onions in butter and oil until lightly golden brown, about 10 minutes. Push onions aside with a spatula.
- Rub steaks with cut sides of garlic clove.
- Place steaks in the skillet, leaving the onions to the side, and cook over medium-high heat until meat is browned but still lightly pink inside, 2 to 4 minutes per side.
- Remove the skillet from heat. Slowly pour Irish whiskey into the hot skillet be careful, whiskey fumes are flammable.
- Mix browned onions into whiskey and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.
- Sprinkle steaks with salt, black pepper, and parsley
- Turn steaks over in whiskey pan sauce to coat both sides, and serve drizzled with sauce.
I started off pretty much the same way. I chopped the onion up reasonably fine figuring that it would be easier for me to deal with the texture if it was all tiny pieces. Normally when I caramelize onions for my wife, I just use olive oil in a cast iron pan. The combination of butter and vegetable oil seems to really help brown them nicely.
I cut the garlic and rubbed it on the steak, but somehow I doubt this really adds anything to the dish. If your fussy eater is really cautious about what you use when you cook, I’d suggest leaving it out. I just used one large sirloin steak rather than several small ones. Instead of waiting to season the steak when it went on the skillet, I sprinkled Instant Gourmet and salt on it while I let the onion cook. I then added the steak to the skillet and browned it up.
I added 1/4 cup of whiskey and didn’t think it covered enough of the steak so I added another 1/4 cup and mixed in the onions. Be sure to keep the burner off when adding the whiskey or you might just end up with and unexpected flambe.
Once I added the whiskey safely, I turned the heat back on medium. Once it started simmering, I turned it down just a bit. I kept stirring the onions up in the whiskey too. Eventually, after about 5 to 10 minutes it had reduced down to a nice sauce.
I removed the cast iron pan from the stove and cut the steak down into 2 portions. The only thing I dislike about sirloin is that it is a little bit fattier than I care for so I did have to cut it up a bit to get enough meat to eat. I only put a little bit of the onion/whiskey sauce on my steak until I knew what to expect. I didn’t have high hopes.
To my surprise, the onions really did add a sweetness to the steak and they didn’t have that same slimy feel that the sliced onions usually have. I think finely chopping them made a huge difference in the texture. They were soft and mushy, but not slimy. I made sure to just put a little on each piece of steak so I didn’t get much of that mushy texture either. I’m not quite sure why the recipe calls for sirloin. I think the next time I make steak this way I’m going to try a London broil or maybe even a strip steak. They are a bit more lean.
I can’t believe I actually found a way to eat onions! It was totally unexpected. I never would have thought I’d be looking forward to trying an onion dish a second time (or first for that matter).
Are there any recipes that have surprised your fussy eater? Let me know and I’ll give them a try too.