Fortunately for you it got the Pie’s Official Seal of Approval (in that he nodded with his mouth full and muttered, “this is really good”), and I have the photographic evidence to jog my memory.
Beef I get on sale is never the best that red meat has to offer. More often than not it contains a lot of gristle and tends to fry up awfully tough. However, I am willing to put up with a lot for three dollars. These three steaks cost me $3.47 in total, which wasn’t bad at all.
The original plan was to create some panang-like concoction with red curry and coconut milk. Upon closer scrutiny it came out that I had no coconut milk so had to go with a more European approach. I picked four herbs to accompany me on this journey: ground corriander, dried parsley, Hungarian paprika (which, after tasting the completed recipe, I would have left out, as it was overpowered by everything else), and pure Newfoundland savoury, grown at Mt. Scio Savoury Farm, not ten minutes from where we live.
Before you cook your meat, make sure to pat it dry with a paper towel. I learned that from Julia Child, and it’s totally true. If your meat is damp it won’t brown properly. And yes, that is totally a Spiderman Band-Aid. I had a run-in with my bread knife and now it has a taste for blood.
In a cast-iron skillet sear the beef at high heat until the cubes are browned on all sides. A non-stick pan won’t give you half the brownness you’re looking for on this, and if you have the skillet super hot, with just a drop of butter sizzling in there, you don’t have to worry about the meat sticking at all.
Reduce the heat to medium and sprinkle the browned meat with the flour mixture and stir until the cubes are evenly coated with the flour. You will notice that it sticks to the bottom of the pan at this point, but that’s a good thing. The reason you add the flour mixture at this point is so it forms a paste with the meat juices, and when you add more liquid to it, it doesn’t get all clumpy and gross.
Pour in about a cup of beef broth. For this I dissolved a bouillon cube in a cup of boiling water. Give it a good stir with a wooden spoon and make sure to scrape up all the pasty stuff from the bottom of the pan.
Add about a cup of Shiraz or any other red wine (sorry enthusiasts/aficionados/snobs, but I can’t tell the difference with reds – they all taste like cat pee to me) and let it simmer until the sauce is a thick, dark brown and is reduced by about half.
Serve over rice (we used our favourite Brown Rice Medley my parents smuggle us across the border from Trader Joe’s) and accompany with your favourite vegetables (in this case, imported broccoli and local rainbow carrots).