Last night I cooked a delicious meal: Beef Tips and Noodles. It was so good, I have to write about it!

My mom used to cook a roast in a pressure cooker and make a simple brown gravy and mix it with wide noodles. I used to purchase Hormel pre-cooked beef roast in gravy and mix it with said noodles. My method was much quicker, but not quite as tasty. Last night's recipe was a little impromptu but went like this:

Ingredients

1 lb cubed stew beef 2 cups beef stock 1/2 cup water 3 tbsp all-purpose flour 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce 1 tbsp deli mustard 3-5 bay leaves 1 tsp finely chopped tarragon 3 tbsp vegetable oil 2 tbsp butter 6-8oz wide egg noodles salt and pepper to taste

Beef

Heat the vegetable oil in a deep, 12-inch pan over medium-high heat. Add the stew beef and brown, about 3 minutes each side.

Sauce

After the beef is fully browned pour out about half of any oil or juices still in the pan. If I had them, I would have added a 1/2 cup of diced portobello mushrooms and 1/4 cup of finely chopped white onion to the pan and cook them for a couple of minutes before continuing.

Turn the heat to medium and, keeping the beef in the pan, add the butter. Allow the butter to melt and then add the flour. Stir the flour, beef and butter until the flour and butter have combined and begun to brown. Allow this mixture to cook for a minute, stirring to prevent burning.

Add the beef stock and water and stir until well blended with the butter/flour mixture (called a roux). Cover and cook over medium heat until boiling. Give it another stir and continue boiling for about 5 minutes.

Stir again (lots of stirring in this recipe) and turn down the heat to medium-low. Now add the bay leaves, tarragon, mustard, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir to incorporate these new ingredients. Your sauce should be smooth with a glossy, light brown color. Continue cooking for about 35 minutes, stirring every few minutes. The sauce will reduce down and become thicker.

After the 35 minutes, begin cooking your noodles according to the directions on the package. By the time your noodles are cooked, your meat and sauce will have simmered for about an hour your beef should be tender and your sauce will be quite thick. Now would be a great time to sneak a taste and add more salt or pepper, if necessary.

Before you drain your noodles add about 1/3 cup of the pasta water to the beef and sauce, stir well. This starchy water will help the sauce adhere to the noodles. Now drain your noodles and add them into your pan with the beef and sauce. Stir the deliciousness around to cover all the noodles with the delicious sauce. Simmer for a couple of minutes to make sure all the flavors get a chance to incorporate and are at the same temperature.

Serve hot and enjoy.