Even those of us who like to cook, don’t like to cook all of the time. In the middle of doing other, more important things, the need to stop what we’re doing to prepare a meal can be a bother. I’m always excited to find a new “from scratch” recipe that is both tasty and super simple.
I stumbled upon a new recipe the other day and many great reviews made me anxious to try it. There’s no point in having a fast fix recipe if I have to make a trip to the market before I can make it so the recipe below is my own “tweaked” version that uses ingredients more commonly found on my panty shelves. My version not only turned out to be fast and easy to prepare but my fussy husband asked why I don’t make it more often. Coming from a man who dislikes anything but a traditional home cooked dinner, that kind of a comment is a big win!
My prep took me less than 15 minutes and it started by cutting a round steak into serving sized pieces. I used one of those tenderizing tools on it, but you could just beat it with a meat mallet to tenderize it a bit. If you want, you could use a different cut of meat. But why spend more money for a pricier cut of meat when the cheaper round steak turns out so tender and tasty? Go ahead however, and use whatever cut of beef you find stashed in your freezer and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
I dredged my tenderized round steak in flour that I seasoned with a little garlic power, salt and pepper and seared it on the stovetop in a little oil. I seared in the same ovenproof casserole pan that I was planning to bake the meal in and that saved me from having to wash an extra pan. If you’re the kind of cook that usually skips the whole meat searing process, I expect you will probably skip it in this recipe too. Do, at least, season your meat.
After removing the meat from the pan and setting it aside, I stirred together a can of mushroom soup (Wait! Before you balk, hear me out!), a packet of dry onion soup mix, a beef bouillon cube, and 1 3/4 soup cans of water.
Don’t let the mushroom soup scare you. I know, I know. I am not usually a fan either. But the dry onion soup and bouillon give it a flavour that makes the mushroom soup unrecognizable. Hide the can in the trash and your husband and kids will never know that you dared bring it into the house. If you want to experiment though, I don’t see why you couldn’t use any other “cream of” flavored soup.
I stirred my ingredients together, scraping the pan to stir in the bits left over from searing the meat. I also made sure to fully dissolve and stir in the bouillon cube. I returned the pieces of round steak to the pan and that was it! I covered it with a lid and baked it at 325 ° for about 2 1/4 hours.
My husband is passionate about mushrooms so halfway through cooking I poured a jar of mushrooms on top (I drained the liquid from the jar so that it wouldn’t water down my gravy). I would have added the sliced carrots at the same time but I didn’t have any. If I hadn’t been in a hurry, I would have used fresh mushrooms and also added some sauteed onions. Those things though, would have added prep time and defeated the idea of a “fast” fix. Next time, maybe.
The dish came out of the oven hot and bubbly. The gravy was just thick enough to serve over mashed potatoes without requiring any additional thickening. Since I didn’t have the carrots called for in the recipe, I fixed a side of fresh picked corn on the cob that I got from a neighboring farm. It was the best fast fix comfort meal that I’ve made in a very long time.
Oops! I forgot to take a photo but I found this one which is a fairly good representation of what the dish looked like.
Fast Fix Steak with Mushroom Gravy
- one or two lbs. round steak, or any cut of beef from your freezer
- salt, pepper, and other seasonings to taste
- one can of cream of mushroom soup
- one envelope of dried onion soup mix
- one beef bouillon cube
- two cans of water
- one jar of mushrooms, drained
- one bag of peeled, ready to serve baby carrots
Tenderize round steak and cut into serving size pieces. Season the meat, dredge in flour and sear in a little oil. Set meat aside.
In an oven proof pan or casserole dish, stir together mushroom soup, bouillon cube, onion soup and water until bouillon dissolves. If you are serving more than six people, you will want to double the “gravy” ingredients.
Bake at 325 ° for about 2 1/4 hours. Halfway through cooking, add mushrooms and carrots.
Serve over mashed potatoes or noodles.