Jeannie Scheirman of Mount Pleasant wants to help the reader looking for recipes to make beef tips in a brown mushroom sauce, but without using a salty soup.

Jeannie acknowledges that her recipe may not be a perfect fit, but hopes it will please. “This is a recipe for beef stroganoff that my mother used to include in her campaign cookbook each term when she ran for re-election to the West Virginia legislature.”

Beef Stroganoff


2 pounds round steak (or substitute beef tips)

Garlic salt and/or salt to taste

Flour for dredging

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon vegetable oil or more as needed

1 (10.5-ounce) can low sodium cream of mushroom soup

1 (8-ounce) carton low-fat sour cream

Tabasco sauce

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


Cube steak, season with salt and dredge in flour. Lightly brown with onions in the oil. Drain, pouring off excess grease. Mix mushroom soup with 2 cans of water, the sour cream, 8 drops of Tabasco sauce and the Worcestershire sauce.

Pour mixture over browned steak and onions and simmer slowly for about 45 minutes. Serve over rice or noodles.

I thought it would be good to offer a recipe that didn't used canned soup at all, and preferably fresh mushrooms. Luckily, I spotted this recipe in Fine Cooking's “Comfort Food 200 Delicious Recipes for Soul-Warming Meals” (2011, Taunton Press).

Beer-Braised Sirloin Tip Stew With Mushroom Sauce

Serves 4


1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon sweet paprika

Kosher salt

1½ pounds sirloin tip steaks, ¾ to 1 inch thick (see cook's note)

½ pound fresh mushrooms, preferably a mix of half shiitake and half cremini

2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 scallions, thinly sliced, white and light green parts separated from dark green parts (save both)

1 cup dark ale or porter beer, such as Beck's Dark

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


Cook's note: Some grocers mistakenly label tri-tip steak as sirloin tips. You'll recognize real sirloin tips (also called loin flap meat) by the marbling. If the cut looks lean, ask your butcher if it's truly loin flap meat.

In a small bowl, mix the mustard, brown sugar, thyme, ginger, paprika and 1 teaspoon salt. Coat both sides of the steaks with the spice mix.

Remove and discard the stems from the shiitakes, if using, and trim the stem ends from the cremini. Wipe all the mushrooms clean and slice them 1/4 inch thick.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering, add half the steaks and sear them until nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side (the steaks will brown quickly because of the sugar in the spice mix). Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining steaks.

Reduce the heat to medium, add 1 tablespoon of the butter to the pan, and let it melt. Add the mushrooms, the scallion whites, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until the mushrooms soften and brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Pour in the beer and Worcestershire. Scrape the bottom of the pan with the spoon, raise the heat to medium high, bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half, about 4 minutes.

Return the steaks and any accumulated juices to the pan, cover tightly with a lid or foil and reduce the heat to a low simmer. Braise, turning the steaks after 8 minutes, until tender and just cooked through (they should be easy to slice with a paring knife), about 16 minutes total. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and slice them thinly. Cut the remaining 1 tablespoon butter into four pieces and swirl them into the sauce. Stir in the scallion greens and taste for seasoning. Serve the steak slices topped with the sauce.

Special salad

Ron Pollitt of Kiawah Island read the recent coleslaw recipes with interest, as they made him think of other salads with warm or hot dressings. He offered his recipe for a favorite, Frisee Salad With Poached Egg.

“We've served it as part of a small plates meal and as a salad course to a diverse group of diners that includes physicians from Nashville, David and Bill of Sugar Bake Shop in Charleston, and the owner of a large wine and spirits business in northern Kentucky and his attorney wife, and they all loved the way the flavor notes work together. It can be varied by using rice wine vinegar instead of white wine vinegar for less acidity and a more exotic flavor.”

So some of you are surely wondering, what is frisee? (pronounced free-ZAY) You've probably eaten some as part of mesclun salad mixes, but it can be purchased by itself. Frisee is a member of the chicory family with slender, curly leaves that are yellow-white to yellow-green. Its flavor is slightly bitter.

Poached Eggs With Frisee Salad


1/4 cup plus ½ cup white wine vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 eggs

3 slices bacon, chopped

1 teaspoon sugar

6 cups frisee, cleaned (use spinach as an alternative)

Croutons (optional)


In a large, deep saute pan, bring 2½ inches of water to a boil. When the water comes to a boil, lower the heat to a bare simmer. There should only be small, infrequent bubbles on the surface. Add 1/4 cup of the vinegar and some salt to the water.

Crack 1 egg into a small bowl, making sure the yolk remains unbroken. Gently slip the egg into the simmering water, using a spoon to make sure the egg is completely covered. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Cook to desired degree of doneness, 3 to 5 minutes. When the eggs are done, remove from the water with a slotted spoon. Place on clean paper towels or kitchen towel to drain. Set aside.

In a small saute pan, cook the bacon until browned and crisp. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Add the remaining ½ cup of white wine vinegar and stir, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook until the vinegar is reduced by half. Add the sugar and cook until it is dissolved. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour half of the bacon dressing over the frisee and toss with croutons. Sprinkle with the cooked bacon pieces. Divide the salad among 6 plates. Top each portion with a poached egg and a drizzle of the remaining dressing.

Who's got the recipe?

Beth Pendergrass of Florence would like recipes for blueberry muffins. Beth also is in need of a recipe for orange pound cake.

Still looking: A West Ashley reader would like to make a from-scratch peanut butter cake (chocolate may be included). Any help?

If there's a recipe you've lost or a dish you are just wondering about,