CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Venison Tips With Egg Noodles

Red meat cooked in a sauce has probably been popular since the earliest humans first tasted it — albeit in a much cruder form than we know today — thousands of years ago. Over centuries, this type of food has evolved into dishes such as beef Stroganoff, Salisbury steak and even the ubitquitous hamburger and gravy; the list goes on and on and on.

I’ve made my share of Stroganoff and “loose meat” in gravy over the years, perhaps my penchant for this type of dish coming from my childhood. When I was growing up, hamburger gravy over mashed potatoes was almost a weekly go-to dish of our school hot lunch program as well as at home. Now, one of my favorites is tips cooked in a mushroom and onion sauce.

For people who dine out around Grand Forks, sirloin beef tips with mushrooms in an au jus sauce has been particularly popular for a number of years. It’s one of the specialties at Scotty’s Deli, located on South Washington Street. Scott Doyea brought the late Al Decker’s popular recipe with him after making it for years at Al’s Grill on Gateway Drive.

Recently, I decided to try my own hand at the tips, mushroom and onion entree, substituting venison for beef and making my own gravy out of onion soup mix and some Better Than Bouillon seasoned vegetable base.

I won’t say it’s as good as Scotty’s, but it’s surely something that a caveman wouldn’t pass up.

Venison Tips with Egg Noodles
1 pound venison or beef stew meat, trimmed and sliced thinly
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 package Lipton Onion Soup mix
2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon (reduced sodium)
8 ounces egg noodles
1 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
Place butter and olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion and garlic and saute until translucent. Add meat and continue to cook until meat is browned. Add soup mix, water, bouillon, salt and pepper. Simmer until meat is tender. While meat is cooking, prepare egg noodles according to package direction. Serve meat and mushroom mixture over noodles.
Note: If sauce is too thin, mix some cornstarch with a bit of water and add to meat-mushroom to thicken.

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