Simone Appetit: Beef stroganoff — it’s what’s for dinner
I don’t know. It is not quite cold enough for the Crock Pot to be busted out, but still, the weather is to the point where you want to smell something good coming out of the kitchen. Not cookies. Again, we are not there yet, but the tuna salad is definitely retired until further notice — or an Indian summer.
Beef Stroganoff is in this season. In fact, it might be this year’s new black, if done correctly. This recipe has become one of my favorites and I break tradition a bit and serve it over white rice as opposed to noodles. Actually, that wasn’t my idea.
Beef Stroganoff, despite its Doctor Zhivago-sounding moniker, did not originate in Russia, but is a Basque dish served with pilaf, and that got me switched to the rice accompaniment. If your upbringing says egg noodles, go for it.
Either way, you say tom-ay-to, I say tom-ah-to — do not call the whole thing off.
1 1/2 pounds lean beef, cut into narrow strips, about 2 1/2 inches, 3/4 inch wide and 1/4 inch thick
3 tbls. butter
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 large onion, halved and sliced
2 tbls. flour
2 cups beef bouillon or consommé
2 tbls. tomato (or tomahto) paste
1 tbls. dry mustard
4 tbls. sherry
2⁄ 3 cups sour cream
1 large, deep skillet
4 big plates for every time I say “set aside”
Dust beef strips with salt and pepper and sit aside (there’s plate No. 1) for about two hours to get to room temperature. Melt butter in a heavy skillet and sauté mushrooms until just barely tender, about seven minutes. Remove from heat and set aside (plate No. 2).
In the same butter, sauté onions until golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside (plate No. 3). Add at least one tablespoon of butter and when it is hot, add meat strips, sear them on both sides, but leave rare. Remove from heat and set aside (plate No. 4).
To the remaining butter in pan, sprinkle in flour and blend with the butter, using a whisk. Slowly add in beef bouillon or consommé, stirring well to form a smooth gravy. Next add sherry, tomato paste and dry mustard, blending them well.
Now return the meat, onions and mushroom to the sauce/skillet and simmer very slowly over the lowest possible flame for twenty minutes. About five minutes before serving, add the sour cream and blend it thoroughly. Serve over white rice.
Simone Grandmain is an internationally published travel and food writer who currently calls Truckee-Tahoe home. She welcomes your recipes, kitchen “must-haves” and food news at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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