This post is sponsored by Omaha Steaks. Rest assured all opinions are my own..
Three things I love are steak, cheese and a great piece of crusty bread. I wanted to create this steak bites appetizer with cheese sauce to bring them all together. Top sirloin, caramelized mushrooms, toasted baguette topped with a provolone cheese sauce makes these sinfully delicious. This recipe is perfect as an appetizer, as tapas or even a small meal.
What Are Steak Bites?
Though pretty self-explanatory, most people season or marinate small pieces of steak then cook and serve. That is certainly delicious but I wanted to make a more substantial appetizer. If you are feeding a crowd, traditional steak bite recipes that are only small pieces of beef won’t last long. People are more apt to eat more of the steak you are serving and that can get expensive.
By adding the bread, people fill up quicker and you can serve less meat overall and get the same effect. People are happy and the steak was delicious. If someone is on a low carbohydrate diet, then serve theirs without the bread. Easy peasy and everyone is happy.
I am using Omaha Steaks Butcher’s Cut beef top sirloin for this recipe. This top sirloin is taller and thicker than their traditional top sirloin and each steak weighs 5 ounces. Sirloin is an affordable cut compared to many other cuts of beef. It is excellent as a stand alone steak or to cut up for other applications such as this.
Summary Of Recipe
This recipe consists of four main components. Each step takes just minutes to prepare and the whole appetizer comes together quickly.
- Sliced flat iron steak- grilled or cooked in skillet on stove. I prefer to season with kosher salt just prior to cooking and fresh ground pepper when almost finished. (*note- pepper can burn and become bitter. For this reason I add it at the end)
- Grilled baguette slices- grill outdoors, on a grill pan indoors or toast on skillet
- Sauteed mushrooms & shallot – make a flavorful base for the steak slices
- Provolone cheese sauce- a sinful addition and ode to delicious cheeseteak
Steak Bites And Mushrooms
Though you’ll never see me eat a raw mushroom I love the umami flavor sauteed mushrooms give this appetizer. I used a cast iron skillet to saute Cremini mushrooms with butter, olive oil and minced shallot. Once the liquid evaporates off, the mushrooms caramelize and develop incredible flavor.
If you don’t like mushrooms, feel free to leave them out. If you like onions, slowly caramelizing onions as an alternate topper would be excellent.
Substitute For Cremini Mushrooms
Interesting fact about mushrooms: Cremini (baby bellas), button mushrooms (white) and portobello mushrooms are all the same type of mushroom. This blew my mind when I found out as well. By name, they are all Agaricus bisporus but they only differ by age. Button mushrooms are the youngest, followed by Cremini or baby bellas and portobello mushrooms being the oldest. What does this have to do with our appetizer? Use whatever mushroom you like. The mushroom closest in flavor and texture with the only real difference being color, would be the white button mushroom however.
Steak Bites On The Grill
This steak bites appetizer can be made a multitude of ways. If using a grill, regardless of type, set it up for direct heat or approximately 450°F. I prefer to salt my steaks with kosher salt prior to hitting the grill. Unlike other “steak bite” recipes, for this recipe we are cooking the steaks whole, then slicing when ready to serve. The thickness and weight of the steaks you are cooking will dictate how long to actually grill them.
For the crostini, slice a baguette into 1/2 inch slices on the bias (at an angle). Drizzle with good quality olive oil. Grill each side until lightly toasted.
To cook these steaks to medium-rare which is preferred for top sirloin, you can follow these general guidelines. Keep in mind, because cooking time is variable, it is best to have an accurate instant read thermometer to measure temperature. After grilling allow steaks to rest approximately 3 minutes before serving.
Steaks 1 inch thick– Grill 5 minutes first side, 4-5 minutes the second side
Steaks 1 1/2 inch thick – Grill 6 minutes first side, 5-6 minutes second side
Steaks 2 inches thick– Grill 9 minutes first, 7-8 minutes second side
*To cook the mushrooms and cheese sauce you will need to use a skillet on the grill or inside on the stove.
How To Cook Steak Bites On The Stove
For this recipe, I chose to cook the steak in a cast iron skillet on my stove. Stainless or carbon steel skillets will work just as well to promote a nice sear and great browning. Two factors will greatly affect the success of a great sear.
- The temperature of the skillet. Preheat your skillet until it is hot. If the steak doesn’t immediately sizzle when it hits the skillet remove it immediately and heat it longer. Prior to adding your oil to sear, flick a couple drops of water from your hand onto the skillet surface. If it is hot, the water will instantly bubble and evaporate.
- Not drying the surface of the steak prior to searing. This is more of a concern when steak has been defrosted in packaging or has been wet-aged. Place the steak on a plate prior to cooking. Dry both sides with a paper towel to remove any excess liquid. You want your steak to sear not steam when it hits the skillet.
Cook times when cooking steak in a skillet may differ from cooking the steak on the grill. In a skillet, the surface of the meat is in full contact with the hot pan. On a grill, time can be different based on what type of grill it is, the heat source and how it is set up to cook.
For steaks under 1 and 1/2 inch thick, I sear the first side until it is nicely browned, then flip and sear the second side. The second time will take longer to sear typically because the pan loses heat after the initial sear.
Are you a garlic lover? Once the steak cooks on the flip side for a couple minutes, turn the heat down. Add a couple tablespoons of butter with some minced garlic to the skillet. Baste the steaks until finished. It makes for a delicious pop of flavor.
Use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness after you start to achieve browning on the flip side. I personally like to pull my steaks at least 5°F under my target temperature (for medium-rare I pull them at 130°F). The temperature of the meat will rise somewhat during the rest period after pulling out of the skillet.
Vive La Baguette!
I’ll use any excuse I can find to eat some crusty delicious bread. I think the smaller diameter of a baguette makes for perfectly sized pieces when cut for this steak bite appetizer. If you can’t find baguettes at your grocery store or bakery, feel free to use whatever type of bread you like. A loaf of french bed or ciabatta would certainly suffice. You might just have to cut the bread slices in half to make them more manageable as an appetizer.
To cook the baguette, lightly drizzle with olive oil or brush on first. Then, grill over high heat on a grill, grill pan or toast in a skillet.
Cheese Sauce For Steak Bites
SInce I wanted a play on a cheesesteak but a more elevated flavor profile, I used mostly provolone for my cheese sauce. To make the sauce you only need butter, flour, milk, cheese, salt and pepper. Grab a small saucepan and lets get crazy. To make a cheese sauce you make a basic bechamel sauce then melt a bunch of cheese in it. Trust me, this is easy!
To make a bechamel sauce and ultimately our cheese sauce, mix equal parts of butter and flour in a small saucepan over medium heat. For this recipe 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour. If you’ve ever made homemade macaroni and cheese, you likely started by making a bechamel.
As the butter melts, whisk the mixture and continue to cook for an additional minute. This flour-butter mixture is known as a roux and serves as the base for thickening a number of classic dishes. Add 1 and 1/4 cup of warm milk to the roux and keep whisking until starting to thicken. Warming the milk for your cheese sauce helps prevent lumps from forming. After the mixture thickens, turn the heat down to low.
I used approximately 5 slices of provolone cheese and 1 slice of American cheese in my sauce. If you don’t like provolone, feel free to use whatever cheese you like. Keep adding the cheese piece by piece to the mixture until you obtain an adequate thickness and flavor.
Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper. I love a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg or cayenne pepper in my cheese sauce as well.
Cooking Cheese Sauce Ahead Of Time
This sauce can be made ahead of time. However, it will thicken upon cooling and you have to cover the surface of the sauce with plastic wrap or another adequate film to prevent a skin from forming. Think about what gravy oven looks like after sitting out for awhile. You get the picture. To reheat, heat over low heat and thin with additional milk if needed.
Steak Bite Assembly
- Place grilled bread on serving platter
- Top with sauteed mushrooms
- Add a couple pieces of thinly sliced top sirloin
- Top with warm cheese sauce
- Garnish with chopped chives or scallion if desired
- Serve immediately
Steak Bites Recipe With Cheese Sauce
- Grill or stove
- 2 5oz top sirloin
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper or to taste
- 1 baguette or bread of choice
- 3 tbsp quality olive oil
Sauteed Mushrooms and Shallot
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms sliced
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt to taste (if using salted butter, may not need)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp white all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup milk (preferably whole, may use 2%) may need extra to thin sauce
- 6 ounces Provolone cheese (or your favorite) add until desired consistency and taste
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper or to taste
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt to taste
- 1/3 cup chives or scallions chopped
- Preheat grill to high heat or 450°F if grilling. If using skillet, pre-heat skillet over medium high heat.
- Season sirloin with kosher salt on both sides.
- Grill top sirloin or cook on skillet until med-rare or desired temperature. Time will depend on size of cut. Remove from heat and rest for at least 3 minutes. May tent with foil while cooking other ingredients
- Slice a baguette into 1/2 inch slices. Drizzle olive oil over bread. Grill on hot surface until lightly browned or grill marks develop. Remove from heat and set aside
Saute mushrooms and shallot
- In skillet over medium high heat, add butter and olive oil. Add sliced mushrooms and continue to cook until water evaporates and mushrooms are lightly browned. Add shallot. Cook until shallot is translucent.
- Season with pepper and salt to taste if needed. Hold warm until appetizer assembly.
- Make roux. In small saucepan over medium heat, combine butter and flour. Continue stirring and cook for 1 minute being careful not to brown.
- Make bechamel: Whisk in warm milk and continue to whisk to avoid lumps. When sauce thickens, lower heat.
- Add desired cheese gradually, melting between additions. Add fresh ground pepper, salt to taste. May add pinch of fresh ground nutmeg or cayenne if desired.
- May thin cheese sauce if needed with additional milk.
- Place grilled baguette slices on platter, top with mushroom mixture, thinly sliced top sirloin, cheese sauce and scallion.
- Serve immediately.