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The French Connection
Classic beef burgundy exemplifies simplicity, rusticity and heartiness, as intended. Render the fat from about 1/2 pound of chunky bits of slab bacon over low heat and set the meat aside. Brown 3 or 4 pounds of stew beef in the fat along with garlic and sliced onions. Add enough equal parts red wine and beef stock to cover everything, then add herbs and spices. Braise the beef for three to four hours in the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit -- just enough heat to simmer. Serve the beef with caramelized pearl onions, bacon, sauteed mushrooms and buttered egg noodles with parsley.
Eastern and Western cuisines share a fondness of beef and noodles, but cultural differences show up in the preparation. The iconic Chinese beef-and-noodle dish -- beef lo mein -- is stir-fried and spicy. Marinate sliced flank steak in equal parts soy sauce, sesame oil, shaoxing wine and sugar for two hours. Cook lo-mein noodles and set them aside. Saute the steak, broccoli and garlic
in a wok over medium-high heat. Finish by adding the noodles and a little reserved marinade and cooking it all for two to three minutes.
From Russia With Love
Beef stroganoff has origins in 19th century Russia, but the dish spread rapidly throughout Eastern Europe. Kluski, a Polish dish, and goulash with egg noodles, from the Czech Republic, both were inspired by stroganoff. Slice the beef -- a tough cut, such as round -- into 1/4-inch thick slices and saute them in oil until browned, about two minutes. Set the beef aside, add butter and saute sliced mushrooms and diced onions in the pan. Add a little flour and stir, then whisk in equal parts stock and sour cream and simmer until thickened, about five minutes. Add the beef to the sauce, heat through and season to taste before serving over noodles.
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