Simple. Tasty. Traditional.
There's a lot of things I won't ever forget about my grandmas cooking, and each of them have one thing in common, a cast iron skillet. While no two cast iron skillets in this world are the same, there is no doubt that the years of cooking imparted something special to this one. Not only is this cast iron skillet associated with home cooked meals, but it brings back special memories of pre and post hunt breakfasts that will never be topped!
While I won't be using that same cast iron skillet, it's legacy does live on as my brother still uses it. The principles, though, stay the same; meat/eggs, grease/butter, and a healthy dose of seasoning produce amazing results. In this recipe we are going to use venison steaks and not super thick ones either (1/4 to 3/8 of an inch), there is no need to use the loins for this recipe. Please save those for the grill! We will end up with steaks cooked most of the way through, however they will be tender and taste great. You can also use just about any other cut of red meat out there and have excellent results. The bonus is you'll have a half hour at most into the prep and cooking of this recipe!
One last thing before we really dive into it, huge thanks to Andrew and Chad of Sedulous Media Group for these awesome whitetail hunting pictures. These guys have some amazing skills when it comes to outdoor photography and capturing the moments of why we hunt.
1 white onion (sliced or diced)
It's time to break out the butter! Heat your cast iron skillet with 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter. As the butter is melting add your onions and mushrooms. It really doesn't matter how the onions are cut, but I prefer sliced as it is less prep work. You'll want to see these starting to cook and turn brown, about 5-8 minutes or so.
While the mushrooms and onions are browning it's time to prep our steak. Grandma would always just use salt and pepper, but we've made some advancements since then. I'm going to apply a healthy dose of Reel n Smoke Seasoning to achieve the right amount of flavor. Next I'm going to put a thin coat of flour on them. Add flour to a plate and just flip both sides of the steak in it so it has a light coating.
Move the mushrooms and onions to the side of the skillet and add another chunk of butter. When that has melted it's time to add the steaks! I keep the heat at medium high to high throughout the whole process. Browned/burned bits and pieces are a good thing with this recipe. Typically after 5-6 minutes you'll see blood pooling on the top side of the steaks. That means they are ready to flip.
The thickness of your steak will determine how long this step takes. At a minimum we are talking another 5 minutes. Also don't hesitate to flip it a couple more times to soak up some more of that cast iron flavor. We aren't trying to make it a one flip operation with some fancy grill lines in this recipe.
Remove the steaks from the heat and top with the onions and mushrooms. Allow to rest and cool down for a couple minutes and serve.
This time we are sticking pretty close to home and along the lakeshore for our beer pairing. We are going with the Ryecoe IPA from Big Lake Brewing in Holland, Michigan. The Taproom is currently located a bit north of Lake Macatawa, but they are on the move to downtown Holland soon. I highly recommend their taproom, not only for the great beers, but the reasonably priced growlers if you want to take some home (it's hard to find good deals on those most places). Rye P.A.'s just might be my favorite style of IPA, I can't exactly put my finger on why however. There is a combination of the hops, malt, and rye spicyness. They are just right in this one and it is very well done for the style. It's an easy drinker, comes in 16 ounce cans (always a bonus), and is easily found in stores throughout west Michigan. I wouldn't hesitate to drink this beer with any meal as it is simply just one of my favorites.