Being a chef is all about honing your craft, taking chances and making intuitive leaps. In recipes like this we see a truely inspired twist on something everyone loves. The cheese, the peppers, the beef, make this classic a time honored comfort food, but in a stew form it offers a warming and unique way to enjoy those flavors that is sure to impress the people you cook for.
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(Serves about 4)
• 1 ½ pounds very thinly sliced beef sirloin (I get mine from Trader Joe’s), or ribeye
• Cracked black pepper
• ¼ teaspoon onion powder
• 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided use
• Olive oil
• 2 onions, quartered and thinly sliced
• 10 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
• ½ teaspoon dried thyme
• 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 4 cups beef stock, hot
• 4 sourdough bread bowls, centers hollowed out and reserved for dipping
• 4 slices provolone cheese
-Add the thinly sliced beef sirloin to a large bowl, and season with a couple of pinches of salt and cracked black pepper, plus the onion powder, and toss to coat; sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of the flour, and again, toss to coat.
-Place a non-stick pot over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 3-4 tablespoons of oil; once hot, add about half of the sirloin in, and allow it to sear for about a minute or two, then toss/stir, and allow it to sear/brown on the other sides for another 1-2 minutes, and remove onto a plate to hold (the meat may still be a little pink inside); repeat with the remaining half of the sirloin, and set aside.
-Next, add a little more oil to the pot if needed, and add in the sliced onions, along with a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper; allow the onions to caramelize for roughly 6 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning them, until golden-brown and softened; then, add in the mushrooms, and allow them to continue sauteing with the onions for another 6 minutes or so, stirring frequently.
-Add in the dried thyme and the garlic, and stir to incorporate.
-Once the garlic becomes aromatic, sprinkle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour (the tablespoons can be a bit “heaping”) over the onion/mushroom mixture, and stir well to combine and blend; next, slowly add in the hot beef stock, stirring all the while to avoid any little flour “lumps” from forming.
-Reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow the stew to simmer gently for about 10 minutes, uncovered, just to “tighten” it up a bit, and to allow the flavors to marry; after 10 minutes, turn off the heat, and add the seared sirloin back in, along with any accumulated juices, and stir to combine; check to see if you need any additional salt/pepper.
-To serve, ladle some stew into your hollowed out sourdough bowls, top with a slice of provolone, and place the bread bowls onto a foil-lined baking sheet and under the broiler for just a couple of moments to melt the cheese and make it gooey.
-Serve with some of the hollowed out, left-over sourdough bread on the side, for dipping.