Round Steak Smothered in Brown Gravy, Shiitake Mushrooms, and Onions

Source: Passionate Vegetarian, Crescent Dragonwagon

Serves 6 or 4 very hearty portions

Note: The roux for this recipe can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 2 days. The roux takes about 45 – 75 minutes to prepare and cannot be hurried.

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 medium onions, sliced vertically into thin crescents
  • 8 ounces round steak, sliced into 1 inch cubes
  • ½ pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup hearty red wine
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown roux (instructions follow)
  • 2 tablespoons dark miso
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Minced parsley
  • confetti of finely diced red and yellow bell peppers
  1. Heat the butter in a large nonstick Dutch oven, over medium heat. Add the onions and round steak and lower the heat. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are very soft but not browned and the meat is cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the mushrooms, raise the heat slightly, and cook, stirring for another 5 minutes. Add garlic and bay leaves and cook, stirring for an additional minute. Add stock. Stir well and bring to a boil, then cover and lower the heat to a bare simmer. Simmer 35 to 40 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together wine, dark brown roux, 1 tablespoon of the miso, and brown sugar. At the end of the simmering time, ladle out a little of the simmering liquid and stir it into the wine mixture. Whisk the wine mixture back into the simmering pot. Cook over extremely low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, another few minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. You may wish to add the additional tablespoon of miso now, also. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Serve very hot with a garnish of minced parsley and diced red and yellow peppers,

Dark Brown Roux

Into a skillet, pour 1 part mild oil – not olive oil. Turn the heat to medium and whisk in 1 equivalent part unbleached all-purpose flour. Note the color – a pale parchment-cream with barely a yellow tinge. As the roux colors, keep whisking. It will become a light brown first, and then will darken. The preferred shade of roux is deep brown, just a shade or so past caramel. Preparing the roux ought to take at least 45 minutes; 1 ¼ hours is preferable. It cannot be hurried.