I know, I know, everyone else saw this movie ages ago, but I just watched it last weekend. I adored it. Then I went home and prepared a dish that featured canned cream of mushroom soup and felt like a loser.Here’s how Julia would have cooked my meal:
Sauté de Boeuf à la Parisienne
(Beef Sauté with Cream and Mushroom Sauce)
“This sauté of beef is good to know about if you have to entertain important guests in a hurry. It consists of small pieces of filet sautéed quickly to a nice brown outside and a rosy center, and served in a sauce. The following recipe can easily be prepared in 30 minutes, or in less than half the time if the meat has been sliced and the mushrooms sautéed ahead. In the variations at the end of the recipe, all the sauce ingredients may be prepared in advance. If the whole dish is cooked ahead of time, be very careful indeed in its reheating that the beef does not overcook. The cream and mushroom sauce here is a French version of beef Stroganoff, but less tricky as it uses fresh rather than sour cream, so you will not run into the problem of curdled sauce.
Serve the beef in a casserole, or on a platter surrounded with steamed rice, risotto, or potato balls sautéed in butter. Buttered green peas or beans could accompany it, and a good Red Bordeaux wine.”
For 6 people
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
A heavy, 9- to 10-inch enameled skillet
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon good cooking oil
3 tablespoons minced shallots or green onions
1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper
2 1/2 pounds filet of beef; the tenderloin butt and the
tail of the filet are usually used
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon cooking oil, more if needed
1/4 cup Madeira (best choice), or dry white vermouth
3/4 cup good brown stock or canned beef bouillon
1 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons cornstarch blended with
1 tablespoon of the cream
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons softened butter
Sauté the mushrooms in a heavy skillet in hot butter and oil for 4 to 5 minutes to brown them lightly. Stir in the shallots or green onions, and cook for a minute longer. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper,
and scrape them into a side dish.
Remove all surrounding fat and filament from the filet and cut it into 2-ounce pieces, about 2 inches across and 1/2 inch thick. Dry thoroughly on paper towels.
Place 2 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon cooking oil in the skillet and set over moderately high heat. When the butter foam begins to subside, sauté the beef, a few pieces at a time, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side to brown the exterior but keep the interior rosy red. Set the beef on a side dish, and discard the sautéing fat.
Pour the wine and stock or bouillon into the skillet and boil it down rapidly, scraping up coagulated cooking juices, until liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup. Beat in the cream, then the cornstarch mixture.
Simmer a minute. Add the sautéed mushrooms and simmer a minute more. The sauce should have a slight liaison (be lightly thickened).
Taste carefully for seasoning.
Season the beef lightly with salt and pepper and return it to the skillet along with any juices which may have escaped. Baste the beef with the sauce and mushrooms; or transfer everything to a serving casserole.
When you are ready to serve, cover the skillet or casserole and heat to below the simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, being very careful not to overdo it or the pieces of filet will be done rather than rare. Off heat and just
before serving, tilt the casserole, add butter to sauce a bit at a time while basting the meat until the butter has absorbed. Decorate with parsley, and serve at once.
And here’s how I did it:
½ Pound sliced fresh mushrooms (at least we’re starting out the same)
8 Tablespoons butter (Good Lord! I’m using more butter than Julia! Cholesterol much?)
1 ½ pounds flat iron steak, sliced thin
I use an egg slicer to cut my mushrooms, then I drop them into the melted butter in a large heavy skillet. While those are browning, I slice the meat very thin. Dump the meat in the pan. Stir. In a medium bowl blend:
One can Cream of Mushroom soup (le sigh)
Two giant dollops of sour cream
1 teaspoon (more or less) Worcestershire sauce
A good squirt of ketchup (This, I think, takes the place of the Madeira)
Salt, Pepper and a couple of shakes of Paprika
Add this to the meat and mushroom mixture, stirring to blend the butter with the sauce. Serve over wide egg noodles.
Yum! Even for a loser.
Geek Girl Charity says: Yes, it’s true about the Madeira. My Betty Crocker cookbook lists ketchup as a perfectly fine substitute for Madeira. (Or maybe it’s just the Betty Crocker cookbook in my mind.)