Randall Lineback is an American heritage breed of slow-maturing all-purpose cattle (bred for dairy, meat and labor) being brought back from the edge of extinction by a handful of farmers, such as Joe Henderson of Chapel Hill Farm in Berryville, Va. The Linebacks are pasture-raised, grain-finished and processed at eight months, so they are too old to be considered veal and too young to be considered beef. Their flesh has a rose hue, a fine grain and little fat. The flavor is distinctly unlike that of the beef or veal most Americans are used to. Substitute ground veal or beef in this recipe if you must, but the flavor and texture will not be the same.
The meat is available at the Butcher's Block and at Society Fair (opening in early 2012), both in Alexandria.
This recipe was inspired by an episode of "Pati's Mexican Table" in which the delightful Patricia Jinich, chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute, prepared Mexican style-pasta in one pan, without boiling the pasta separately. It borrows that one-pan concept, but as a take on beef stroganoff. The fettuccine gets browned in a saute pan. The liquid added to the pan cooks the pasta; the starch in the pasta thickens the sauce.
Central American-style cream (crema) is a blend of cream cheese, sour cream and heavy cream. You can substitute creme fraiche.
Make Ahead: The pasta is best made just before it is served. The meat and mushrooms can be sauteed a day in advance, but if you do that, use beef broth to deglaze the pan you brown them in and reserve that liquid until you’re ready to finish the dish. That way, you will get the extra flavor that the browned bits in the pan deliver.
- 3 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1 large clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more as needed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 8 ounces (2 cups) sliced cremini mushrooms
- 1/2 medium onion, cut into julienne
- 12 ounces ground Randall Lineback beef (see headnote)
- 8 ounces fettuccine, broken into thirds
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions (white and light-green parts; from 3 or 4 scallions)
- 2 ounces queso fresco, such as Jalisco brand, for garnish (may substitute feta cheese)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup Central American style cream (crema), such as Rio Grande brand, for garnish
- Chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish
Stir together the broth, heavy cream, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, garlic, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan over low heat; keep warm.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat, until the oil shimmers. Add the mushrooms and onions, stirring a few times; cook for about 8 minutes, until the onions begin to caramelize. Add the ground Randall Lineback, breaking the meat into small pieces with a flat wooden spoon or spatula; cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the meat is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper to taste, stirring to incorporate.
Drain the meat-mushroom mixture, discarding the fat and bay leaf, then transfer the mixture to a bowl.
Return the pan to medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil begins to shimmer, add the broken fettuccine to the pan, stirring often; cook for about 2 minutes so it begins to brown. Add the warm broth mixture to the pan, using a wooden spatula to dislodge any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium; cook uncovered for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente.
Return the meat-mushroom mixture to the pan, stirring it into the pasta. Cook for a minute to warm the meat through, then stir in the scallions.
Divide among individual plates. Crumble some of the queso fresco over each portion, then drizzle each with the crema and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve right away.
Adapted by Sourced columnist David Hagedorn.
Tested by David Hagedorn.
Email questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.