This is a variation of pot roast. Actually, I was planning on making pot roast beef with white sauce when I discovered that I had no beef slab left in the freezer. All I had were beef cubes. Problem? Not really. The trick, again, was to improvise. Slicing the beef cubes thinly and cooking them until tender would have resulted in lifeless beef slices that would disintegrate by the time they were fork tender. I thought I should pre-cook the beef cubes, cool them and then slice them to the desired thickness. They would be tender but firm. And to make sure that they do not appear and taste dry, I later pan-fried them in butter. This is really a simple dish to prepare. But it has to be prepared in stages.
To make the browned onion bits, I strongly suggest using sweet white onions. The more strongly-flavored red onions taste bitter when browned in this manner.
750 g. of stewing beef cubes
1 head of garlic
1 bay leaf
150 g. of baguio beans (french green beans)
250 g. of carrots
250 g. of potatoes
1 c. of beef stock
1 tbsp. of flour
1 c. of full cream milk or all-purpose cream
1/4 c. of butter
3/4 c. of finely chopped onions
salt and pepper
Cooking procedure :
Place the beef cubes in a casserole. Pour enough water to cover. Add the garlic, onion, bay leaf and peppercorns. Season with salt. Bring to a boil, removing scum as it rises. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until fork-tender. Cool completely. Strain the stock and reserve 1 c. for to make the sauce later. Cut the beef cubes across the grain into 1/4″ slices (thinner, if you prefer).
Meanwhile, trim the green beans and cut into 2″ lengths. Peel the carrots and potatoes. Cut them into 1/4″ thick slices then cut each slice into sticks about 2″ in length.
Melt half the butter in a heavy skillet. Heat until the cream starts to separate from the oil and the edges start to brown. Add the chopped onions. Fry gently until brown but not burned. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
Reheat the butter and add the beef cutlets. Cook over high heat until the meat absorbs most of the oil and the surface appears glossy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a serving plate, arranging them at the center.
Add the remaining butter to the skillet. When frothy, add the carrots, potatoes and green beans. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often. If the butter starts to burn before the vegetables are cooked, add 1/8 c. of beef broth. Cook the vegetables until they are tender but still crisp. With a slotted spoon, arrange the vegetables around the beef cutlets on the serving plate.
Reheat the remaining butter in the skillet. Add the flour all at once, stirring to avoid lumps. Cook until golden. Pour in the beef stock slowly, stirring with the other hand as you pour. Cook the sauce until thick. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and add the cream or milk. Stir well.
Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Sprinkle with the browned onion bits.