To say oil is critical to auto racing is like saying that water is the key to life. Without oil, auto racing couldn’t exist as it does today. Crude oil is refined into gasoline, and also into motor oil, which keeps the engine lubricated.
In recent years, NASCAR has started a green program to help their image. This includes recycling, clean energy, and oil recycling. Not long ago, it was discovered that used motor oil can be re-refined into almost anything that crude oil can be refined into. Interestingly, sometimes oil was sold to collectors, as is evidenced by this display of oil from Kyle Busch’s #18 Toyota Camry when he won the 2009 Shelby 427 at Las Vegas.The package is about 5 inches long by 3 inches wide, and contains a card, an ounce of thick motor oil, a COA, and a card. This is one of only 504 ever made. Inside the box is the display which is slightly smaller than the box. It has a small oil drum with a small amount of motor oil. The oil has a thick viscosity, which is needed because of the wear that Cup engines produce during a race. The COA comes in the box, and states that this is #359 of 504.This is an interesting little piece of memorabilia, something that I’ve never seen offered before or since. With NASCAR going green, it seems unlikely that something like this will be offered up again. Since I know that this week’s column was a little thin, so I’m switching gears, and offering up…
NASCAR fans love red meat. That has never been disputed by anybody. While most people simply grill steak, I thought it would be good to make something a little more complex…and tasty. With that, I present:
Steak and Mushrooms
4 packages pre-sliced baby bella mushrooms
4 cups red wine
2 sticks unsalted butter
16 sprigs of thyme
Kosher salt and pepper
1. Place a large saute pan on the stove top over medium-high heat.
2. Salt and pepper both sides of your steaks, and then add them to the hot pan.
3. Sear 4-5 minutes until browned, then repeat on the other side.
4. Just before you remove the steaks from the pan, add the thyme springs and butter in there. Let it melt, then take a spoon and baste the tops of the steaks continuously with it.
5. Set the steaks aside on a plate to rest.
6. Put another drizzle of oil in your hot pan and add the mushrooms.
7. Season them with salt and pepper and cook them, tossing occasionally, until they release their water and start to take on some color, about 8 minutes.
8. Add the wine, and let the liquid cook down until thickened.
9. Plate your steaks on top of the crispy green beans, and add mushrooms on top of steak with sauce.
Next week, we look at a vintage pit crew suit.