The Last of the Hearty Meals

I was on the phone with my mother-in-law the other day talking about how much better I eat in the spring and summer than in the colder months.  And though last week was a taste of what’s to come in terms of Mother Nature, this week has been accompanied by one more sprinkling of the cold, white stuff.  Which called for one last hearty, stewy dinner.

Beef Stroganoff.  Or as The Washington Post called it, “Tenderloin Tips With Mushrooms and Herbs.”

This puts those bland, watery casseroles you’ve had before to total and complete shame.  Also, yes, I served this with regular, not egg, noodles.  Heartfelt apologies.  This is rich and meaty without being overly filling.  It’s simple in terms of ingredients, but complex when you taste the first bite.  And second, and third, and fourth…  This is nourishing.  I’m okay holding off for another month or two with enough dishes like this in my future.

You will need:

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 12 oz. beef tenderloin tips, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 12 oz. cremini mushrooms, stemmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (Confession:  I used 16 oz.  I like mushrooms.  And they come in 8 oz. packages.)
  • 1/2 C dry red wine
  • 3/4 C low sodium beef broth
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 2 T brandy
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 T chopped fresh dill
  • 2 T chopped fresh parsley

Heat 1 T of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add half of the beef, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.  This is your chance to season the meat, so don’t let it pass you by.  Cook the meat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring after it has browned on the first side.  The meat doesn’t have to be coked through here.  Transfer the meat to a plate, and repeat with the other half.  This sauce comes together quickly, so I would get a pot of water going for some egg noodles (though rice wouldn’t be bad either).

Heartfelt apologies to my vegetarian friends.  But this is browned meat at its best.  I might finally be getting the hang of my electric stove.  Once you’ve removed the second half of the meat, you’ll be left with a pan that looks like this:

There is so much flavor in that pan.  Add another T of oil and let it heat up.  Add the onion, and saute until it softens, about 6-8 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and increase the heat to medium-high; cook for 6-8 minutes, until the mushrooms release their liquid and start to brown.  Add the red wine; cook for 3-4 minutes, until the wine reduces by half.  Whisk together the broth and the mustard in a cup, then add to the pan.

Whisk together the brandy and cornstarch in a cup, then stir into the skillet or pan.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling, or until the sauce is almost the consistency you want.  Add the beef and cook for 2 more minutes (if you add the beef before the sauce reaches the thickness you’re going for, it will grow tough as it cooks in the sauce).  Stir in the dill and parsley and serve over egg noodles.


One thought on “The Last of the Hearty Meals

  1. Pingback: America’s Test Kitchen « a glass of milk

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