If I were to ask my husband what he would to like to have for dinner he will say “Beef Stroganoff”, guaranteed. He has had a strange fascination for this dish for as long as I have known him. I know it stems from his boyhood when his Mom made Hamburger Helper Beef Stroganoff and that is his idea of what it should be and what he wants me to make. But I don’t, because for the most part I don’t use packaged mixes, and I know that is not what Beef Stroganoff really is.
I have wanted to learn to make the real thing since soon after we were married when we spent a weekend in Boston and had dinner at a well-known Hungarian restaurant. On the menu was Beef Stroganoff, and of course my husband ordered it. It was served as slices of tender beef in a sour cream gravy over egg noodles. He loved it. Ever since, I have felt intimidated and afraid that what I might make would never live up to that perfection so I have never made it. The biggest question for me has been what cut of beef to use to get that wonderful tenderness.
A recent issue of Cooking Light gave me some answers to that question and also this recipe for Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff. The recipe seemed pretty simple to make with readily available ingredients. The beef suggested in the recipe was for beef tenderloin, cut into small pieces, but another suggestion was to use skirt or “apron” steak, which is another very tender cut of beef that does not require long cooking. It was available at the market, so that is what I used for this recipe.
I was pleased beyond my expectations at the way this meal turned out. The meat was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the sauce nicely seasoned and balanced. One of the keys to achieving depth of flavor is to have a really hot skillet to brown the meat on all sides, and the other is the addition of mushrooms that contribute to the umami flavor of this dish. My husband thought it was wonderful. So the next time he says “make Beef Stroganoff”, I know that I can and this is what I will make.
BEEF AND MUSHROOM STROGANOFF
Yield: 4 servings
- 5 ounces uncooked wide egg noodles
- 1 Tbsp. canola oil
- 1 pound beef tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces. ( you may substitute any other suitably tender cut of beef )
- 3/4 tsp. salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
- 1 cup thinly sliced leek ( I used onion)
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tsp. minced garlic
- 1 (6-oz) pkg. sliced mushrooms
- 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. hot paprika
- 1 cup unsalted beef stock
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat; swirl to coat. Add beef; sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Cook 4 minutes or until browned, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan.
3. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add leek, thyme, garlic, and mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Sprinkle mushroom mixture with flour and paprika; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add stock, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened, stirring frequently.
4. Stir in beef, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper, and sour cream. Serve over noodles; sprinkle with parsley.
SOURCE: Cooking Light