1/4 lb lean beef, sliced against the grain 1/4" thick and into 1" pieces
3 T soy sauce
1 T olive oil
1/3 onion, diced fine
1 T flour
1 clove garlic, toasted in a dry pan*, and minced or pressed
4 ice cubes of magic brown soup stock (defrosted) and 3 ice cubes of mushroom juice (defrosted), or 1-2 cups of beef broth, chicken broth, vegetable broth or beer
4 ounces pasta, such as farfalle, egg noodles, broken-fettucine, cooked al dente in salted water and buttered, to keep from sticking to itself if it is ready before the sauce
Leftover sauteed mushrooms because they were going bad and you only had a handful left (completely optional)
Sour cream, for serving
1. Marinate the meat in the soy sauce while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
2. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the meat in two batches. You want a good, fast sear, so turn up your ventilation fan and make sure the pan is hot.
3. Pull the meat out and reserve. Add another dash of olive oil to the pan and turn the heat down. Saute the diced onions, scraping up the browned bits in the bottom of the pan.
4. When onions begin to color, sprinkle in your flour. Mix to combine and add more oil if necessary. When making a roux, it's helpful to me to remember that I'm trying to coat each speck of flour with oil so that I can cook it. Depending on how much fat was in your meat and how tightly you packed the spoon of flour, you may need more or less oil. You want to see it bubble. Cook and stir this for at least a minute, maybe two, until you see the flour start to color.
5. Add your liquids and whisk. Add a splash of milk for a creamier sauce.
6. Add the meat and mushrooms (if using) and heat through.
7. Add the pasta to the pan and mix to combine. Plate onto warm plates and add a dollop of sour cream.
*Toasted garlic: put the whole unpeeled clove into a dry hot pan and cook on each side until the skin colors. This is similar to roasting, but doesn't taste quite as heavenly or take as long. Call it Fakers' Roasted Garlic, if you will. Resist the urge to turn the clove with your fingers. You run the risk of burning yourself, and when this happens your fingertip will stick to the pan and you'll have an awkward story to tell your spouse about why you can't wash your hands properly. Not that I would know.
For the complete essay and photos, click here: On Faker's Stroganoff
© 2011, OnBlank.com