1 1/2 cups warm 2% milk
2 tbls butter
2 tbls flour
1 lb steak tips
2 tsps chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 tbls minced onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 lb mostly cooked bow tie pasta
salt and pepper
Cut steak tips into 1" chunks and season them with salt and pepper. Brown them well in a skillet, then set them aside on a ceramic plate tented with foil. Deglaze the skillet with the chicken stock and once all the brown bits are up and it's reduced by at least 1/2, pour it off and set it aside. Turn the heat in the skillet down to medium-low and melt the butter in it. Add the onion and garlic and saute for a minute or so, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the milk while still stirring, keep stirring until the sauce is thickened, about 3-5 minutes. Let simmer, stirring frequently, until it's reduced to around a cup then add the deglazing liquid. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Let simmer for another minute or so, stirring frequently, then add juices from the rested steak tips, the peas and pasta (and tips, if you want it all combined). Toss it all together and let it simmer for another minute or two, stirring occasionally, until the pasta has absorbed some of the sauce. Add the basil, stir to combine and serve.
The other day my girlfriend came up to me and said, "I want steak tips. And bowties with peas."
I said, "Ok". And made this. She sat across the blue plastic tv tray we've been using as a table, eating it with a little smile on her face.
"Is it good?" I asked.
"Oh yes" she said, "it's exactly what I wanted."
That, kids, is my personal favorite response. Sure "I love it! ", "it's even better than I thought it would be" or an enthusiastic thumbs up because their mouth is too busy to talk are all great. But really, there's nothing better than craving something and getting just what it was you wanted. Well, when it comes to food anyway. Heh.
The icing on the whole deal here is that this is a surprisingly low fat dish considering how rich it is. I used homemade stock which makes a big impact with texture and richness, but was almost completely fat free. The sauce didn't taste chickeny at all, but you got the smooth, rich mouth-feel from all the collagen in the stock so I could use 2% milk and still have it be really creamy. Other than that it was just the two tablespoons of butter, perfectly reasonable for something that serves 4-6 people, and the tips. The tips weren't too fatty, although I did cook them in bacon grease. Because I could. I didn't get many pictures, but fortunately it's nice and simple. I don't see why you couldn't do this with something other than steak. You would just want something that leaves good fond since that's where most of the flavor for the sauce comes from. Next time I'm going to add a tablespoon or two of sour cream to it to brighten up the flavor a bit.
Speaking of the sauce, does anyone know if it's still a white sauce? Does adding the broth, fond and meat juices change it? I think it might, technically, be gravy. Not that I'd mind, of course. In fact if that were so I'd probably change the title of the post to reflect it. Heh.