- Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil, shallots and garlic and sautè until translucent, but not browned. Add tomato paste and sizzle 30 seconds. Add 1/4 cup soy sauce, remaining ingredients, and 2/3 cup water. Simmer uncovered on low heat 10 minutes. Strain. Return to pan; cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1-1/4 cups, about 8 minutes.
- Add remaining soy sauce. Simmer 5 minutes or until silky, with the consistency of a light syrup. Add more pepper to taste if desired. Keep warm until ready to use, or refrigerate 2-3 days. Makes about 1-1/4 cups, or enough for 8-10 average servings, or 2-3 entrees.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil and 1/2 tablespoon butter in a wide sautè pan over medium-high heat. Add shiitakes, a pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper to taste, 1/2 teaspoon rosemary and sautè until they give up their liquid. Add soy sauce, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until concentrated and silky, 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm.
- Season steaks generously with pepper. Heat a heavy non-stick fry pan (or the rinsed out sautè pan) over medium-high heat. Film with remaining oil. When hot, sear steaks on one side until browned. Turn, sear 2 minutes, and cook until 125°F. for rare, 135°F. for medium-rare, or to desired doneness. Remove with tongs to plates or platter. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. If using, add cognac to pan and evaporate over medium heat (if heat is too high it will flame – this is not a problem just be aware). Add 1 tablespoon water and the Signature Sauce. Bring to low boil scraping up caramelized meat juices from pan. Whisk in remaining butter. Adjust pepper to taste.
- Drizzle each steak with 2 tablespoons sauce, top with shiitake confit. Dot plate rims with a little more sauce if desired. Garnish with rosemary sprigs. Wine suggestion: Merlot or the same wine you used for the sauce. Additional serving suggestions: Buttered steamed baby potatoes.
ADDITIONAL USAGE IDEAS
- Use as marinade for thick tuna steaks (preferably the deep red variety), or salmon before grilling. Marinate up to 2 hours, no longer. Discard marinade or bring to boil and use as sauce.
- Use to deglaze the roasting pan from a standing rib roast, and as sauce for the sliced beef. Add a few tablespoons of water for deglazing with the sauce.
- Braised Root Vegetables: toss with a medley of root vegetables and braise slowly. (Carrots, turnips, Jerusalem artichokes, daikon radish, are good candidates).
Recipe submitted by Susan Asanovic, Wilton, CT., First Prize Winner of the Signature Sauce Recipe Contest.