My grandmother was a farmer's wife and had six children and eight mouths to feed including her own. Money was always tight and she needed to find ways to make inexpensive yet hearty meals for her large family. One of the many meals she came up with and is a family favorite we call "brown noodles".
It is a thick beefy noodle dish made with fresh homemade egg noodles. Growing up in a large family of my own my siblings and I would argue over who got to eat the most or have seconds. It is delicious and comforting! Give it a try and make it one of your family favorites!
Step 1: Ingredients and Tools
2-3 lbs stew meat or roast cut into chunks
2 heaping tbsp flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 small onion chopped
4 beef bullion cubes (I like the knorr found in the. mexican ilse)
8 cups of water
Salt to taste
TOOLS FOR BEEF
1 Gallon zip top bag
2 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 to 1/2 cup water
TOOLS FOR NOODLES
Cutting board or dough mat
Noodle maker or rolling pin and pizza cutter
Step 2: Prep Beef
• Take your cut stew meat and put it in a gallon zip top storage baggie.
• Add 2 heaping tbsp of flour, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, and 1/4 tsp black pepper.
• Close baggie and shake mixture together evenly coating the stew meat.
• Put the bag in refrigerator overnight.
Step 3: Cook Onions and Garlic
• First chop your onion.
• Combine chopped onion and minced garlic in skillet with a splash of olive oil.
• Cook on medium heat stirring occasionally until onion begins to become translucent and garlic begins to brown.
• Put one beef bullion cube in your crock pot.
• Add your cooked onion and garlic to the crock pot.
Step 4: Braise Beef
• Drop your flour coated beef that has been sitting in the fridge over night in the same skillet while it is hot.
• Take a wooded spoon and break apart chunks of meat. After sitting in the fridge they begin to stick together.
• Cook on medium to high heat. Make sure your heat is on and skillet is hot before putting your beef in.
• Braise the outside layers of the beef. When braising beef you are browning the outside quickly while the inside still stays pink. The best way to do this is to make sure your skillet is hot and keep your beef chunks in one spot for 30-60 seconds. Kind of like cooking one side of a steak. Then flip your chunks over to braise the other sides. You don't want to over stir your beef because you want a nice brown coat on the outside.
• After your beef is sufficiently braised and starting to smell devine, take off heat and add it to the onions, garlic, and bullion in the crock pot.
• Add 1 cup of water.
• Cover and turn heat on low for 8 hours or high for at least 4 hours.
• Occasionally stir throughout the day.
• Be prepared for your house to start to smell incredible and for you to be hungry all day because of it!
Step 5: Move Beef to Stock Pot
• After beef has cooked long enough in the crock pot, move the mixture to your stock pot on the stove. A 6 quart or larger works best.
• Add 3 more beef bullion cubes and 7 cups of water. (Note: I am using bullion cubes that require 2 cups of water per 1 cube. Some are 1 cups per 1 cube. Adjust your amounts accordingly to the type of cubes you choose to use.
• Turn on medium to low heat and cover.
Step 6: Make Noodle Dough
• In a large mixing bowl mix 2 cups of flour and 1/4 tsp salt.
• Make a little dip in the center of the flour mixture for your eggs.
• Separate your 3 eggs with your egg whites in a separate bowl. Put your yolks in the flour. (You can save your egg whites for something else if you want).
• Add 1 whole egg to the flour.
• Stir eggs and flour together. I like to use a table knife.
• Once the mixture begins to get crumbly, make sure your hands are clean and begin to mix the dough in the bowl with your hands.
• The dough will be dry at this point. Begin to add some water about a tablespoon at a time and continue to mix with your hands.
• Once all the dough sticks together, remove the dough ball and move it to a cutting board or dough mat covered in flour.
• Continue to knead the dough until most of the flour has mixed in.
Step 7: Make Noodles
• Cut your large dough ball into smaller pieces and roll them into smaller balls.
• With your fingers begin to flatten a ball out.
• Either use a rolling pin or a pasta maker to create a sheet of dough. Using the rolling pin you would just continue to roll your dough out untill you reach the desired thickness.
Using the pasta maker you will start by rolling the dough through at the largest thickness setting. Then gradually decrease the thickness setting and roll your dough through again. You may need to cut your sheet as it will get larger as you continue to squeeze it flatter.
Once you have reached your desired thickness rub some flour on both sides and place it on a plate.
• Continue to roll out all your small dough balls and set your sheets aside. If you deside to layer your dough sheets, make sure you sprinkle flour between each layer, or your sheets will stick together.
• To cut your noodles you may either use a pasta maker or pizza cutter. The pizza cutter works well, just take your dough sheets and use the pizza cutter to slice strips into the dough.
• If using a pasta maker, run your sheets of dough through the noodle cutting attachment one at a time.
• After cutting each sheet mix a little flour in with the noodles so they don't stick together. When traditionally making pasta you would want to separate your noodles and allow them to dry instead of adding more flour. However in this dish, we are using the noodles immediately and the additional flour coating around the noodles serves as a thickener for the brown gravy.
• Once all your noodles are cut leave them in a noodle flour pile and move back to your beef mixture on the stove.
Step 8: Add Noodles to Beef
• Bring your beef mixture to a rolling boil. The noodles need to be added to boiling liquid.
• One handful at a time gently drop the noodles into the pot. Your noodles will fall to the bottom. Gently stir the noodles so they don't stick together.
• Continue doing this until all your noodles are added.
• Reduce heat so the liquid is at a low simmer.
• Allow the pot to continue to simmer for at least 20 minutes stirring occasionally. You will notice the gravy will begin to thicken and the noodles will grow a bit.
• Once thickened, ladle into a bowl and enjoy! (Add salt to your desired taste)