Thursday, December 01, 2005

"French Leftover Beef"


Posted by Picasa When I was a young bride in Louisville, my husband and I were both school teachers and would occasionally be invited to the home of students for dinner. Since I taught French and he was a Fine Arts teacher, we usually had the kind of student that would allow us to accept: reasonably good students who were reasonably well behaved.

One of the homes we most enjoyed was that of Victor and Harriet Engelhard. They had three sons, all of whom one or the other of us taught. They lived in a real log cabin in the middle of a green woodsy area. Granted, it was a four bedroom, multi-bath home with all the modern conveniences, but the log-walled interior was as warm and welcoming as the hosts.

Mrs. Engelhard is an excellent cook. I have several recipes from her that I still use often. One is for “French Leftover Beef.” a recipe she got from a woman’s magazine years ago. It makes yesterday’s roast or steak worth saving, or as I sometimes do, cooking extra to make this dish. Recently I was left with some leftover roasted beef tenderloin (now that doesn’t happen often, does it?) and decided to make the dish for friends.

As I was getting ready to write about it for you, I was re-reading Elizabeth David’s “An Omelette and a Glass of Wine,” a collection of her newspaper and magazine writings. In it she mentions boeuf miroton, “the time-honored dish of every Frenchwoman who had to deal with…beef leftovers.” Of course I went looking for it in my French cookbooks and in the Larousse Gastronomique, the last word in French cuisine.

I came up with several variations of the recipe; this dish is indeed a version of boeuf miroton. Most of the French recipes call for putting beef slices on an oven-proof dish, covering with the sauce and baking, and none called for sugar, but everything else was present in one version or another. The French usually recommend this for leftovers of pot au feu (boiled beef), but I have used it successfully with roast, braised or even grilled beef.

All you really need to accompany the dish is a big green salad and cheese toasts. Butter slices of French bread, sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese, dust with paprika, and run under the broiler to brown just before serving. I think your friends will enjoy it as much as mine did…and there won’t be any leftovers!

FRENCH LEFTOVER BEEF

2 onions, thinly sliced
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 cup dry vermouth (or other dry white wine)
1/2 cup beef stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sweet paprika
1-1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1-1/2 tbsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups cooked beef, in 1” chunks or thick strips

Sauté the onions in the oil until golden. Add the flour and stir until lightly browned. Add the remaining ingredients except beef and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add the beef and simmer for 15 minutes more, adding a bit more beef stock if it gets too thick. Serve on a platter surrounded with cheese toasts. Serves 4-6.

19 comments:

Tek said...

Had leftover Rib Eye Steak and Chuck Roast which either needed to be finished off or frozen. Made the French Leftover Beef which was totally consumed in one sitting.

This is a tasty, quick and easy to make dish.

Anonymous said...

My children, who can be picky eaters, loved this dish.

Anonymous said...

Great favor - My husband loved it (and so did I)

Anonymous said...

Very good, had to substitute the vermouth with sherry, white for red wine vinegar and smoked not sweet paprika - does that make it a differenct recipe altogether?
Quick to make, very tasty, will be making it again.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic recipe - I used marsala and raspberry vinegar. Very tasty - will definitly make again. Thanks

Anonymous said...

This is not French. The sauce is a dead ringer for Spaghetti O's. We couldn't eat it.

Anonymous said...

This is simply a 'goulash' style dish which would usually have more paprika in it and also include green pepper (capiscum)and be finished with a little sour cream or natural yoghurt. In Eastern European countries it's made with an inexpensive cut of raw beef, browned, then stewed for a couple of hours.

Brian said...

I really am glad to have found this recipe. We did an expensive beef sirloin dinner for Christmas, but then had a lot left over. I did this recipe for one round of leftovers, and now I'm doing it again today.

We substituted beer for the wine--perhaps that's the Central Europe-lover in me--and we did have to add more stock. We also added some chopped garlic just after sauteing the onions for a minute.

We'll be using this recipe much more in the future!

PS: It was a bonus to see you lived in Louisville. That's where we live.

Anonymous said...

I use to make a similar dish with leftover bottom round beef that was just so tasty. I could not find my original recipe, but I made it very similar to the posted recipe. No one realized that it was a leftover dish, and there were no leftovers from this meal. I used Marsala wine.

Anonymous said...

It was far to sweet. It was not right at all with beef. Sorry but not for me.

Canada Viagra said...

The best food ever is left over. Specially when it is friday of left over and great beers.

Anonymous said...

I really don't think this meal is French inspired - after all thats a nation of great recipes and this is not!

cheap hotels honolulu hawaii said...

That look so great! All these tinny details are made with lot of background knowledge. I like it a lot. Thanks for this post, it was pretty nice.

Cialis said...

Great recipe!

derekandkong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
derekandkong said...

This is excellent! A few substitutions were required (Chinese cooking wine for vermouth, smoked paprika for sweet), and the leftover rump steak I had was in thin slices (but that made it nicely scoopable!).
I'll be doing this a LOT!

smile when you're cleaning said...

Tried this for myself but added a few more veggies in the form of peppers and mushrooms to pad it out as as the left over beef would stretch to three cups. Plus (shame on me for this) added a touch of cream at the end. Did it in the slow cooker over several hours until it was mouth wateringly tender!!!

PremiumGoodale said...

I just made this recipe, questioning the "French" ness of it, but to my surprise, the flavors pop out just as much as when I was in France! This is a keeper in my book, and I am definitely citing this for my current blog :)

PremiumGoodale said...

I also think it is worth mentioning, my process to make a quick stock is definitely unorthotox: stock starter + beer :P