Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Comfort Food: Beef and Noodles

It has been a long week.

I have been on the road and Alexis has been working more 12-hour shifts back to back at the hospital because she was helping a co-worker out by exchanging shifts. So dinner wasn't ready and served until 8:48 PM tonight.

Fortunately that was right when Alexis walked in the door from work. I was actually going to make beef stroganoff but I didn't have several ingredients so I used what we had on hand. This really isn't an exact recipe because I was just winging it and not measuring but it's pretty close. I think... maybe....kind of.

Beef and Noodles

2 cups baby carrots
1 Tbsp butter
1-2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 lb beef strips (I used milanesa style sliced sirloin)
1 ea shallot, peeled and diced
1/4 cup marsala wine
2 cups beef broth
1 cup water
2 springs thyme
2 tsp demi glace
slurry made from 2 Tbsp water 2 Tbsp corn starch
2 cups of cooked egg noodles (about a cup pre-cooked measurement)

Toss carrots in 1 Tbsp of melted butter and then roast them for 30 minutes in a 400f oven. I like to use a preheated cast iron griddle pan like this to get the sear marks. Flip them half way through the cooking time.

Meanwhile boil your noodles.

A heavy cast iron skillet works best for this dish. Have you ever noticed how most comfort foods are better when prepared via cast iron grates, dutch ovens, roasters or skillets?

Preheat a cast iron skillet and add your oil. Season your beef with salt and pepper. Working in small batches, sear your beef strips, tossing them rapidly to cook all sides. This should only take 1 minute or a little more for each batch. Remove cooked beef to a plate to rest.

Add a little more oil if necessary and saute the diced shallot for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. It probably took 3-5 minutes for mine to get the softened texture I was looking for.

Leaving the shallots in, deglaze the skillet with the marsala wine. Reduce heat and simmer until all but about 2 Tbsp has evaporated.

Stir in the beef broth & water, bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered until reduced by half (about 10-15 minutes).

Add the demi glace & thyme - simmer covered for 5 minutes. (Strip the leaves from the stem.)

Add the corn starch slurry as needed to thicken the sauce. Taste for seasoning (more salt and pepper if needed).

Return the beef and collected juices to the skillet. Add the cooked carrots. Cover and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

Add the noodles and serve.

I also made some mozzarella biscuits to go with this because comfort food requires biscuits.

I am desperately looking forward to this weekend so I can relax and have fun cooking at a relaxed pace. And maybe even eat dinner before 9pm!

Our average dinner time is around 8pm. I'd rather it be earlier but with our work schedules it doesn't work out. What time do you usually get dinner on the table? Any tricks for getting it done sooner?


  1. What a great hearty and comforting dish to come home too-even at 8:48 p.m. Awesome.


  2. Chris - How in the world are you able to get such great picture so late at night? I have to talk all my pics before it gets dark and even then they don't turn out so good.

    Sounds like you and Alexis are really busy. 12 hour days are really hard. This beef and noodles looks delicious - way to improvise! Love the sound of the mozzarella biscuits too.

    P.S. The kids are having a snow day today (not sure why because we have no snow or ice) and I'm making your corndog recipe. Donuts for breakfast, corndogs and fries for lunch.....healthy stuff ;-)

  3. Sounds like a great, easy meal!

    We are usually around 6ish here with dinner, but then I'm home to do that. Advance meal planning is a key to getting things on the table fast. When I was working away from home and commuting an hour each way, I spent weekends prepping (cooking rice, pasta, cutting up vegetables, etc.) and often cooking several meals and freezing them, which really helped a lot. Doing one meal that becomes multiple meals helps too - like if you cook a chicken, cook two. Pull the meat off of the second one and freeze it in 2 cup portions. That kind of stuff.

  4. You are a wonderfully inventive cook.

  5. Such a lovely meal, looks comforting. I love that with a late nighter.

  6. This looks like comfort food deluxe, Chris - and those mozzarella biscuits just seal the deal. Yum! Hang in there. :)

  7. What a comforting meal Chris. I don't know what I'd do with out cast iron skillets. They seem like old friends to me.

  8. This looks delicious! Love the photos too!

  9. How cute, grill marked carrots! You are so fun...

  10. This is just the kind of meal that is needed after a long day/week! Hearty, flavorful and delicious! The kind of meal that should be eaten in your jammies to further enhance the comfort factor.

  11. Oh, that looks like a fab dinner. Loved how you grilled the carrots. Nice idea.

    And, yep, biscuits! Just perfect with a comfort meal.

  12. That looks so wonderful Chris...and look at you, having dinner on the table when Alexis gets home.. I only get that in my dreams :)
    We don't eat until about 8pm during either...even when I try to get it on the table earlier, it's only by about 20 minutes! Silly life is always getting in the way!

  13. I just can't imagine eating so late. Wow. By 7 pm I've seen about a dozen Subway commercials and announced "Dinner!" to avoid going there.

  14. Well now that looks absolutely delicious. I love the little grill marked carrots so inviting on top. And those mufffins! How wonderful to come home from such long work hours to a beautiful meal like this. Now get some rest! :-)

  15. We hit the gym at 6 am so we can avoid the 9 pm dinners, too! We eat between 7 and 8 during the week, depending on the level of recipe I decide to bite off :) There's nothing like coming home from a hard day to comfort food-- except I'm always the one to make it, hah!

  16. I think it looks so hearty, filling, and satisfying (especially with the biscuits on the side).

    We eat dinner at 6:30 every night but that's because I cook while the kids do homework and because I don't work outside of the home.

  17. Great looking comfort food. Those late nights can be tough. Add the cold, snow, and darkness and that's a recipe for some serious crabbiness. Good thing that beef and noodles are the perfect antidote.

  18. I love beef and noodles...and the demi must make it so perfectly rich. Yum!!! And grilled're definitely the man. I'd eat this at anytime.

  19. Those are sometimes the best kind of recipes! But I think I want those biscuits!! I don't get home from work until almost, ya...we eat around 8:30 or 9:00 unless I'm thinking ahead (ya right) and I throw something in the crockpot (not my favorite way to cook)

  20. you can deglaze in a cast iron skillet? i thought that was bad for the coating?

  21. can we use Oven for cooking?It can give recipe a different flavor.


Comments are moderated and won't appear immediately.