Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Beef Stroganoff (p. 476)

I've been putting off making Beef stroganoff (p. 476) because if I have a nice steak, I want to eat it as a steak, not as stroganoff. I've had a lot of mediocre stroganoffs in my life and I'm pretty sure I've never had a particularly good version of it. I happened to get a great steak on clearance and I decided to make a half recipe of the stroganoff so I could knock it off the list.

I sliced the steak into thin strips, seasoned them, and browned the meat in a little olive oil:

Watch it closely--thin strips of meat brown REALLY quickly. I removed the meat to a plate:

I melted butter in the pan and added a chopped onion. Once the onions were softened, I added sliced mushrooms:

I added two cups of beef stock, a little bit of Cognac (too good of Cognac for this dish, all I had was Courvoisier) and simmered it for about ten minutes. I finally added sour cream, Dijon mustard, and a little more salt and pepper.

I added the meat back in and cooked the whole concoction until it was heated through:

I didn't have any egg noodles for some reason, so my beef stroganoff sat on top of elbow macaroni.

I don't know how I felt about this dish. I didn't love it. It was okay, sort of boring. I thought the sauce needed to be a lot thicker. The beef was extremely delicious and tender. It heated up extremely well.

Random facts:
  • Beef stroganoff became popular in the 1940's, partially due to it's ability to be kept in a chafing dish (which was a newly popular invention), (Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, p. 292)
  • The first major wave of Russian immigrants to the US followed the Russian Revolution in 1917. These were mostly Russian aristocracy and they brought stroganoff and blini with them (Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink, p. 511)

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  1. A great addition to my collection. Thanks for sharing. I can't wait ti try this especially for my family.

  2. I've made this many, many times. I usually dredge my beef in flour, mixed with the seasonings. A real thick coating, then brown. Take it out, do the butter/onion/mushroom thing. Then, I put the meat back in, add in the stock and let come to a quick "boil". This causes it to thicken! Add in a tablespoon of tomato paste, the sour cream and any other additional ingredients... It comes out with a very nice creamy consistancy, not thin. Maybe this will help... Donna in NJ

    1. My mother-in-law's addition - a dash of worcestershire sauce - gives it some zing. I also find low fat sour cream is actually better - again, the slight acid helps.

  3. My mom and gramma add a secret ingredient to give it a punch of flavor. Dont' balk...Ketchup. Just a squeeze, it really brings out the flavors of everything and livens up the dish.

  4. I'll echo the worcestershire sauce. Also, add in more mustard and, my sister-in-law puts in frozen spinach, too - delicious!

  5. Try a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup (or as little as half the can). I don't love mushrooms (my gf dislikes them) so this gets the nice body of the mushroom flavor w/out eating whole mushrooms. Added bonus is it adds to the rich, creamy-gravy like texture of my sauce. Also I dredge the meet before browning.

    1. I actually like the flavor of canned Cream of Mushroom soup--so I will absolutely try this!


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