Beef Stroganoff

September 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

J: Beef stroganoff is a dish I remember having all the time as a kid.  The creamy sauce, studded with mushrooms and tender little beef morsels, and all ladled on top of noodles — what’s not to love? (I was as much of a pasta fiend when I was small as I am now — maybe more — so it certainly helped that to my 8-year-old mind, this was more a pasta dish than anything else.)

I haven’t had beef stroganoff in what seems like years, though, so recently when Erik took a weekend trip home to visit his parents, I decided that it would be the perfect time to try my own hand at the dish, since he’s not a huge fan of beef.  After sifting through tons of recipes on the internet (seriously — there are HUNDREDS of varieties of this!), I found one that seemed pretty tasty and straightforward, so with a few tweaks added from other recipes I’d come across, off I went.

not the prettiest dish, but darn tasty

Beef Stroganoff
(modified from original recipe, found here)
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp butter
1 lb beef, your choice of cut (I don’t remember what I used, but the recipe recommends top sirloin or tenderloin), sliced into very thin strips
2 shallots, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 – 3/4 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch or two of basil, rosemary, and parsley (feel free to adjust to your taste)
1 c sour cream, at room temperature
A splash of white wine or vermouth, at room temperature
1 pkg egg noodles

This dish is typically served over egg noodles.  If you’re using them, don’t forget to get some salted water boiling for them when you’re starting your work on other things!  Cook as usual, drain, and toss with a little olive oil to keep from sticking together while you’re finishing up the rest of the meal.

A tip I picked up from my wanderings across the beef stroganoffs of the internet is to partially freeze your beef before you get started.  Pop it in the freezer for about 30 minutes, and then pull it out and slice it, and it makes thinly slicing the meat much, much easier.  I can in fact vouch for this!  It worked like a charm.  So if you have enough forethought to do this, I’d recommend it.

thinly-sliced beef, about to be stroganoff'd

Heat up the oil in a large skillet — you may not need the full 3 tbsp, so start with a little less and add more as necessary.  Add the beef, and season with salt and pepper.  Your goal here is to brown it very quickly, so you want the heat to be on high or medium-high, and you may consider doing it in batches if that seems like it’ll be easier for you.  I did it all at once and it came out fine, though it may have been a little more tender if I’d worked in batches.

quickly browning

When the beef is cooked through, transfer it to a bowl and set aside for the moment.

Using the same pan, but over medium heat, start sautéing the shallots.  After about a minute, add in the garlic, and sauté both for another minute or two.  You want the shallots to be fragrant and losing their opaqueness, but not totally limp.  When they’re finished, transfer to the same bowl as the beef.

Still using the same pan, melt the butter over medium to medium-high heat.  Add the mushrooms and sauté for 4-5 minutes.  While the mushrooms are cooking, add the basil, rosemary, and parsley.  You’ll have a fair bit of liquid from the melted butter — you want this!mmmushrooms and butter

Reduce the heat to low and add a splash of wine to the mushrooms; give it a stir to get the wine evenly distributed, and then add the sour cream.  Mix in thoroughly but carefully, and keep an eye on the heat so that your sour cream doesn’t curdle.  Add the beef, shallots, and garlic back into the pan, and stir well.

just about done

Taste it and season with any more salt, pepper, or herbs that you think it needs.  Serve over egg noodles, and enjoy!

pasta + meat + cream = excellent

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