Introduction: Beef & Noodles - the Ultimate Comfort Food
Once again, I'm going to turn the Instructables duties over to my wife. While we both love to cook and I share meal preparation duties with her, this is much more her bailiwick than mine. So here she is - with one of her down-home family dishes:
When I was growing up we had chicken and noodles on a fairly regular basis, but beef was much more expensive and we were a family of extremely limited means, so beef and noodles was a rare treat. It was a favorite Sunday or company meal, and I suppose that is one of the reasons I love it so much. But the primary reason is that it is about the best example of an old-fashioned, hearty comfort food you will ever find. The recipe, which my mom wrote down for me, came from my Grandma Schaut, who lived next door to us. It was one of many food-stretching recipes I learned in her kitchen; Grandma and Grandpa Schaut raised eight children during the 20s and 30s - five boys and three girls - and none of them had a small appetite! The recipe will serve 8 - 10 and can easily be downsized.
Step 1: Basic Noodle Recipe and Making the Dough
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
Stir these three ingredients together.
2 eggs (well beaten)
1/2 cup cold water
Whisk the eggs and water together.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the liquid (eggs & water). Mix well with a wooden spoon. The mixture will be sticky (Figure 1). Cover and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
Step 2: Making the Noodles
Flour your work surface and scoop out about half of the dough. Sprinkle flour on the dough and knead it several times, working in enough flour to make a soft, non-sticky dough (Figure 2). Add more flour to your work surface and flour a rolling pin. Roll the dough thin and let it dry for several minutes (Figure 3). Lightly flour both sides of the dough. To cut it into strips, you can either:
a. Roll the flattened dough into a long roll (Figure 4), then cut it into sections (about 1/4 inch or to your taste) with a sharp knife (Figure 5). Unroll the sections into long strips and place them on a clean dish towel or waxed paper to dry (Figure 6) - or
b. If you have a rotary cutter, just cut the flattened dough into strips with the rotary cutter and put the strips on a towel or waxed paper to dry.
Repeat the entire procedure with the second half of the dough. Let the noodles dry for several hours.
Step 3: The Beef Roast - Recipe & Searing
2 1/2 lb. chuck roast
3 - 4 tbsp. oil
about 3/4 cup flour
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish or on waxed paper (Figure 8). Dredge the meat on both sides, rubbing the flour into the roast (Figure 9). Save the flour that does not stick to the meat.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sear the roast on both sides until golden brown (Figure 10).
Step 4: Slow Cooking
Remove the roast from the pan to a slow cooker and add 2 cups of beef broth to the slow cooker (Figure 11).
Stir the remaining flour mixture into the hot oil in the pan and cook over low heat until browned (Figure 12). Slowly ad 1 1/2 cups of water and stir to make a gravy (Figure 13). Remove the pan from the heat and scrape the contents into the slow cooker on top of the roast (Figure 14).
Cook the roast for 15 - 20 hours on low or 8 hours on high. Remove the roast and pull it apart into rough shreds (Figure 15). Return the meat to the slow cooker and add the noodles (Figure 16). Cook on low for 3 hours or on high for 1 hour. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with mashed potatoes (Figure 17), steamed vegetables and a salad of your choice.
While this is definitely a slow food recipe, most of the time is devoted to letting the noodles dry and letting the meat cook. Beyond that, it doesn't really involve a lot of work. But the result is a wonderful comfort food - and something you will never find outside of your own kitchen! Thank you for viewing my Instructable...and enjoy!