During a visit to the Patagonia and Sonoita region of southern Arizona (ranch country), I ordered an entrée salad cleverly named “Cattle in the Pasture” – seared steak bites resting on a bed of mixed green lettuces, drizzled with a mustardy vinaigrette. I was so enamored with the name that I set out to create my own version. In the process, I got carried away with ingredients and finally arrived at this marinated beef dish with portabella mushrooms, red onions and roasted red peppers. Besides topping mixed greens, it is perfect in a big shallow bowl on a buffet or salad bar and gives the meat eaters something hearty to dig into. It also makes a great hors d’oeuvre on crackers or flat breads (try it with goat cheese – yum!), or stuffed in a pita pocket for a hearty sandwich.
And then of course, back to my original goal – the entrée salad – I like to toss this with some roasted red potatoes halves and pile onto a hearty blend of mixed greens (arugula adds a nice spicy kick) for a stellar version of my own “Cattle in the Pasture” salad.
Beef Sirloin Steak – approximately 2 pounds – cut into thin strips (1/2” thick or so)
MontrealSteak Seasoning – 2 Tablespoons (or your favorite steak seasoning)
Portabella Mushrooms – approximately 12 ounces sliced – Baby Bellas would work nicely, too
Butter – 2 Tablespoons (you could skip the butter and use only olive oil if you like)
Olive Oil – 2 Tablespoons
Roasted Red Peppers – I used 2 seven-ounce jars, drained and sliced
Red Onion – approximately 1 cup thinly sliced
Garlic – 1 clove fresh, finely minced, or 1 teaspoon freeze-dried Litehouse
DijonMustard -1 Tablespoon
Red Wine Vinegar – 2 Tablespoons
Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 1/2 cup
Salt and Pepper to taste
Toss sirloin strips in the steak seasoning.
Melt Butter in sauté pan. Sauté mushrooms, turning to brown both sides. Remove from pan and place in bowl. Drain liquid that accumulates.
In same pan, heat Olive Oil. Sauté sirloin to desired doneness in small batches. Remove from pan and place in large bowl. Allow to cool. Add sautéed mushrooms, roasted red peppers, and red onions to the beef and toss gently.
In a small bowl, mix the garlic, Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Pour over beef mixture and toss. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Can serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.