Believe it or not, this recipe is comfort food in Brazil! Down there, it is served with white rice on the side, instead of pasta. This traditional Brazilian recipe is fairly easy and quick to make and everyone has its own version. My recipe has some great flavors from rosemary, cognac (or brandy), brown sugar, and fresh mushrooms. The use of good quality, tender steak is important, since the meat is seared and then cooked for just a few minutes into sauce. I hope my friends from all over the world (including Brazil) enjoy this easy dish!
Cook's Note: You can find Media Crema in the Latin Section of your grocery store. Crème Fraiche can serve as a substitute, in case Media Crema is unavailable.
In a large sauce pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on high heat. Sear the meat for about one minute. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the 1/4 cup cognac and stir until it evaporates. Turn the heat down to medium and add the tomato paste, beef base, brown sugar, ketchup, and water. Cook about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meantime, heat the remaining olive oil in a medium skillet set over high heat, until smoking. Add mushrooms and rosemary and cook about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining 1/4 cup cognac. Be careful, since it might flame. Cook for another minute, stirring to deglaze pan.
Add the mushrooms to the steak sauce and fold in the Media Crema. Serve the dish immediately with a side of white rice