Beef Stroganoff

The exact history of Beef Stroganoff is hard to pin down. There are quite a few versions of it, but the underlying theme is that is the dish was developed for the wealthy, probably a wealthy family, by a French Chef. He named it after his boss Count Pavel Alexandrovich Stroganov. That may or may not be the truth.

Sometimes it's nice to serve a classic dish. I've had many versions of beef stroganoff over the years and taken a few passes at it in my home kitchen. I've got this recipe right where I want it. As far as what I've tasted, I recall a Betty Crocker version involving ground beef. It was simple, but kind of flavor-free. It looked and tasted like hamburger helper. That makes sense given the company that provided the recipe. I also remember a recipe that I tried in my 30's that used Worcestershire sauce. That was all you could taste. And there was a version with cream of mushroom soup. I never went there.

This recipe has no Worcestershire sauce. It is rich, not too saucy, and the beef is unbelievably tender. I've tried lesser cuts of meat, such as round steak, but the sirloin tip has a tender and chalky texture that is unbeatable. Stroganoff is a great centerpiece dish that you can make ahead through adding in the mushrooms, and then reheat and finish it off with the sour cream, Dijon, and Italian parsley right before serving.

Honestly, the buttered noodles are lovely, but I've seen Stroganoff served with potatoes, rice, and even polenta.

Buon Appetito!

Beef Stroganoff

Yield: 6
Author: Chef Laura Bonicelli
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 1 H & 45 Mtotal time: 1 H & 60 M

ingredients:

  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pounds beef sirloin tip, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cognac
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds crimini mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped

instructions:

How to cook Beef Stroganoff

  1. Heat the stock with carrot, three thyme sprigs, and bay leaf.  Dry the beef with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  
  2. Separately, heat three tablespoons of oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet and brown the meat in batches.  Remove as you go to a plate, reserve juices.  Once done, lower the heat and return all of the beef and juices to skillet.  Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Raise the temperature and pour in the cognac.  Cook out the alcohol, 3 minutes.  Add beef stock, discarding the carrot, thyme, and bay leaf.  Simmer partially covered for 1 1/2 hours.  There will be some, but not much, the liquid left.
  3. In a large skillet, melt three tablespoons of butter in the remaining oil over medium heat.  Add mushrooms, garlic, paprika, and remaining thyme sprig.  Cook until the mushrooms are soft and well-browned.  Cut the heat and set aside
  4. When the meat is done, remove from heat and fold in mushrooms, discarding the thyme sprig.  Stir in sour cream, mustard, and parsley.  Adjust salt and pepper.  
  5. Serve over cooked buttered noodles.  Garnish with sour cream and a sprig of thyme.  
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