As we celebrate a legend in Black history and American history, we wanted to leave you with a recipe for one of Martin Luther King Jr.'s favorite foods. The man loved his smothered steak, so we put together this easy-to-make recipe inspired by one of Dr. King's favorite dishes — with our own spin on it, of course.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 teaspoons butter, divided
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 cups whole fresh cremini mushrooms, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 top sirloin steak (1½ pounds), portioned into four 1½-inch-thick pieces
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 cup stone-ground grits
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth, divided
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- chopped flat-leaf parsley
For the steak:1.
In a large, heavy cast-iron pan heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of butter over medium heat. Sauté the shallots and mushrooms for about 5 minutes, until the shallots are translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Remove the sautéed items from the pan and set aside.2.
Pound the steak portions to 1-inch-thick and pat dry.3.
Season the flour with onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and fresh cracked black pepper. Dredge the steak in the seasoned flour, shake off the excess flour and set aside. Keep the remaining flour for the gravy.4.
Place the cast-iron pan on medium-high heat and add in the remaining oil and butter. When hot, fry the steak in a single layer on each side until golden-brown, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Lower the heat if the steaks begin to brown too quickly or gets too smoky. Once the meat is browned, remove from the pan and set aside.
For the creamy grits:1.
Bring the water, cream and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium heavy bottom saucepan.2.
Slowly add in the grits and stir constantly to avoid grits getting lumpy. Add the remaining teaspoon of salt. Partially cover the pot and bring to a simmer and cook the grits for about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally while they simmer so they don't stick to the pot. The grits will thicken and bubble thickly when done.3.
Uncover the pot and remove from the heat. Stir in the butter, pepper and cheeses. Taste and add additional butter or cream if needed.
For the gravy:1.
Using the same pan, return to medium heat and melt the butter. Add in the sliced onions and sprinkle with salt. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are fragrant and a deep brown color. This should take about 12 minutes. Add in 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the onions begin to dry out.2.
Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Add 2 tablespoons of the remaining dredging flour to the pan. Mix the flour into the onions and cook to blend completely, about 2 minutes.3.
Deglaze the pan with dry red wine and cook for 1 minute. Add in the beef broth and bring to a simmer while scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Let the liquid reduce and thicken slightly, about 2 minutes.4.
Whisk in the heavy cream and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes until the gravy is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.5.
Return the steaks to the pan, along with the reserved shallots and mushrooms, and spoon over the sauce. Let simmer until the steak is completely cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Season the gravy with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve over creamy grits and garnish with chopped parsley.