James Beard wrote that smothered steaks were a “minor classic in American food”.Beard’s included, called for top round steaks — a cut that’ becomes dry and leathery when braised and really seeds to be smothered in a thick coating of gravy to make it palatable. Switching from top round to top blade transforms the dish into a major classic. Adding sweet paprika and dry sherry to the braising liquid and sweet cream to the finished sauce furhter elevates it.
Equal amounts of cremini and portobello mushroms provide a balance of savory mushroom flavor and meatiness.
These steaks are good with buttered egg noodles and something green such as sugar snap peas.

From “All About Braising” by Molly Stevens


6- 3/4-1″ top blade steaks (2 3/4 lbs)

flour, for dredging

2 tbsp butter

2 tbsp evoo

3/4 lb cremini or button mushrooms, sliced

12 oz portobello mushrooms, sliced

2 large onions, julienned

1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped or 1 tsp dried

1 1/2 tsp Hungarian paprika

1/2 cup + 4 tsp sherry

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 lemon


1. Pound steaks to 1/2″ thick; season. Dredge in flour and layer in between waxed paper.

2. Melt 1 tbsp butter 1 tbsp oil and sear steaks until nicely browned but not cooked through. Remove to a plate.

3. Add more butter and oil, saute mushroom; season. Saute until mushrooms absorb their liquid; remove from pan.

4. Saute onion, thyme, paprika; season. Add 1/2 c. sherry and bring to a boil; deglaze. Simmer and return mushrooms. Tuck steaks in liquid and mushrooms, cover (use foil if you don’t have a tight closing lid). Braise for 1 1/4-1 1/2 hrs or until steak is tender. Turn down heat if simmering too vigorously.

5. Transfer steaks to a plate. bring rest of pot to a boil and add cream, boil until the consistency is of thick cream soup. Add remaining sherry, a generous squeeze of lemon and 1/2 parsley. Season and spoon sauce over steaks.


— Grenache blend (Southern Rhone Valley – Chateaunneur0du-Pape, Vaqueyras and Lirac)
— rich Zinfandel
— rich Shiraz


Dish   Main DishMain Ingredient   Beef
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