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Braised Beef Over Noodles

24 Jan

Mr. Parker is a Midwesterner. This means he likes weird Midwestern foods, like egg noodles, lots of beef, and cinnamon-y chili over spaghetti. Really.

On Saturday afternoons, I like to cook. As another “thank you for taking care if me when I was dreadfully ill (which I still am)”, I asked him if he had any requests.

Also, I may have been devoid of ideas.

“Boiled beef with egg noodles.”

Huh?

I assumed he meant some sort of beef tips in gravy, so I set out to find a good recipe.

Unfortunately, everything on the interwebs was… weird. Gravy packets? Soy sauce? No. Now, I’m not against using stuff from a package, but not for something this simple and not when I’m looking to spend a bit of leisure time in the kitchen.

So I invented my own recipe. Lucky Mr. Parker!

1 package stew meat
2 small/medium sweet onions
3 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly diced
1 cup red wine (I used Dancing Bull Red Zinfandel and it was delicious! Get something you’ll want to drink the remainder of)
1 cup beef stock
Butter
Olive oil
8 ounces egg noodles
Flour
Salt
Pepper

Preheat oven to 350F.

Begin by heating an enameled cast-iron casserole over medium/high heat.

Season the stew meat with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with about 1/4 cup flour. Don’t shake off the excess, as this will come in handy later.

Add 1 Tablespoon of butter and 1 Tablespoon olive oil. When the butter foams, add half of the stew meat. It will sear and sizzle, but this is a good thing. You’ll also notice lots of dark bits on the bottom of the pan. Though unsightly, these bits provide the flavor for the sauce.

Once one batch of meat is seared on all sides, remove it to a clean plate and add the second batch. Repeat.

Once the second batch of beef is seared and in the wings, reduce the heat and add tour onions. Since they melt away almost completely later, we don’t want to cook them too long now.

Once the onions have softened slightly, add the garlic. Cook the two together for one minute, and remove to a plate.

Turn off the heat, add the wine, then restore the heat to medium. Begin scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Yum!

Once the wine has reduced a tad and melded with the released brown bits, add back the beef, onions, and garlic. Now it’s time for the cup of beef broth. Bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, take a fork and mash 1 Tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon flour. When that’s done, stir it into the beef mixture. Stir semi-vigorously until the lumps have melted away. This little trick will help the sauce thicken.

Put the covered casserole in your 350 degree oven for one hour.

When the beef has 15 minutes left, bring a pot of water to boil. Once it’s rolling, throw in a good amount of salt and your egg noodles. When they’re al dente, drain (but never rinse!) and throw a pat of butter on ’em.

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