Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

I was just perusing the tabs that I have open on my internet browser. My brain is clearly all over the place. There are three tabs for my blog, each one open to a different aspect of blogging; one tab open for one of my email boxes; two tabs open for Pinterest; one tab for a calorie counter for recipes; one tab for blood product administration and one for blood product transfusion reactions; two tabs for curtains for my bedroom; a tab about the evolution of the earth; and seven tabs devoted to genealogy/family history.

When I am on the internet I bounce back and forth between a variety of topics. I’ll get bored with one thing and then move on to another thing. I also keep Word open in my task bar and generally have a large number of writing or research projects going at the same time. Oh, and lets not forget the ever present photo editing program which seems to always have some picture or another that I am trying to tweak.

We won’t even get started on what I have going on my IPAD.

Clearly, I need an intervention.

Oh, but wait. There is no one available to perform an intervention because they are all too busy on their own computers, IPADS or phones. Ha!

Beef Stroganoff

I may be unhinged, but I am not unplugged. It would be sad to be unplugged. I have had a computer for about 25 years and use it for so many things–work, education, family history, communication, hobbies, writing, planning, pictures, etc. I don’t know how I ever managed without it. Actually I do know how I managed without it–it was called books and neighbor to neighbor networking and imagination. Things were a bit more complicated in some ways as far as instantly having answers to my questions, but I was still able to be productive and knowledgeable.

You’d be surprised at how much information a good old-fashioned dictionary used to contain. I used to keep one on my side of the bed because invariably the nighttime pillow talk between my husband and I would devolve into a battle of wits and facts. The dictionary was the only reference material we had and it was my salvation in proving my point or points during the ongoing mental contests. Gosh it felt good to have Webster’s backing me up.

Beef Stroganoff

Aside from our dictionary, religious books and our college books, oh and John’s sci-fi books, the most important collection of books that we had were cookbooks. I say collection, but I think that I only had a total of five. There was the ever faithful orange Betty Crocker cookbook, one from Better Homes and Gardens, a copy of The Joy of Cooking, a book written by several women in my mother’s in-law neighborhood, and my very treasured copy of The St. George Baptist Church cookbook given to me by my Grandmother.

In addition to the cookbooks, like many other women I had a small stash of handwritten recipes on 3″ x 5″ index cards and decorated recipe cards. Do people still do that…write recipes on recipe cards? I haven’t done it in years. I still have handwritten recipes from my grandmother, mother and friends from long ago. They have become treasures both for the recipes, themselves, and also for the memories which the handwriting evokes.

Beef Stroganoff

From the earliest days of my marriage, I have made stroganoff. I used to only make it with hamburger because 1) we were starving students and, 2) I had never had stroganoff with any meat other than hamburger. The recipe was extremely easy to make and included a can of cream of mushroom soup. I don’t quite remember where I got the recipe, but I think that it was from a friend. Then one day I discovered a recipe for “real” beef stroganoff in one of my cookbooks. I was awed by it because it used slices of beef instead of hamburger.

Does that sound silly? That I was awed by slices of beef? Yeah, well, I hadn’t been exposed to beef other than hamburger, pot roast, beef stew and cube steak. Being Southern, however, I could tell you all kinds of things to do with various cuts of pork (and some things to do with parts of the pork that were not really “cuts”, but let’s not talk about that right now, or ever). Pork, chicken and beans were the protein mainstays of my diet growing up.

I am happy to have found the beauty of stroganoff with beef strips. It feels sort of elegant. The seasonings are extremely simple, just salt and pepper, but they are perfect. The rich flavor of this dish comes from browning the meat, and then cooking the onions and mushrooms in the same pan as the meat with a little butter. White button mushrooms are traditional, but I like to use cremini mushrooms, sliced about 1/4-inch thick. Sour cream adds a creamy, tangy finishing touch to stroganoff. I have used full fat and low fat; both of them work well.

Beef Stroganoff

Yield: 4-6 servings

Rich, creamy and full of flavor, this beef stroganoff is easy enough for every day dining and elegant enough for company.

Ingredients

  • 1-1½ pounds beef round steak, beef top round steak, beef eye of round steak, beef sirloin steak (tender), or beef tenderloin steak (very tender)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into quarter rings
  • ½ pound (8 ounces) mushrooms, sliced ¼-inch thick (I use cremini, but white mushrooms are fine, too.)
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cups beef broth or stock
  • 1 cup sour cream or crème fraiche (or a little more per taste preference)
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag wide egg noodles, cooked according to package directions

Instructions

  1. Slice beef into ¼-inch thick strips. Cut the strips about 2-inches long. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon cooking oil. Stir-fry half of the beef strips for two minutes. Remove cooked beef to a plate or platter and repeat cooking process with remaining beef strips. Set cooked beef aside on plate or platter.
  3. Add butter to the same pan in which the beef was cooked. There is no need to clean the pan prior to adding the butter. Add the onion and mushrooms; sauté over medium heat until nicely browned. Add the garlic and cook an additional 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Return beef to pan with vegetables. Sprinkle with flour and stir to incorporate. Add broth or stock and stir well. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until bubbly and thickened. Turn off heat and remove pan.
  5. Stir in the sour cream or crème fraiche. Serve over cooked wide egg noodles. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Notes

Often white wine is used to replace some of the broth or stock. If using wine, change liquid measurements to ½ cup white wine and 1 ½ cups beef broth or stock.

The cut of beef varies per personal preference. Tougher cuts of beef should be sliced quite thin, about 1/8-inch thick, and cooked quickly over high heat. It is easiest to cut beef thinly when the beef is very cold or just partially frozen.

Sometimes mustard is added to the stroganoff, about 1-2 teaspoons or to taste.

_Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'

http://tsgcookin.com/2014/08/beef-stroganoff/

Beef StroganoffBegin by slicing the onion in lengthwise quarters.

Beef StroganoffThen slice across the quarters, cutting the pieces about 1/4-inch thick.

Beef StroganoffSlice the cleaned mushrooms about 1/4-inch thick, too.  It’s a very nice thickness for mushrooms. These are cremini mushrooms, which are actually baby portabello mushrooms. They have a nice meaty texture.

Beef StroganoffGuess what? The beef gets sliced about 1/4-inch thick also. Maybe even a bit thicker.

Beef StroganoffMince the garlic. Garlic seems to be the perfect flavor for beef. mmmmmm

Beef StroganoffHeat the frying pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil, salt and pepper the beef strips and then add 1/2 of them to the hot oil. Cook and stir the beef until the beef strips have just a touch of pink color left in the middle. There may be a lot of spattering so take precautions that you do not get burned.

Beef StroganoffMove the beef onto a plate or platter. Using the same pan, add 2 tablespoons butter and allow it to melt. Add the onions and mushrooms. Cook and stir until the they begin to pick up a golden color.

Beef StroganoffAdd the garlic to the onions and mushrooms. Continue to cook and stir for 1 minute more. Yes, this all smells exceptionally wonderful.

Beef StroganoffReturn the beef to the pan with the onions, mushrooms and garlic. Sprinkle the flour over the ingredients.

Beef StroganoffStir until the flour is well incorporated.

Beef StroganoffPour the beef stock or broth over the meat mixture. Stir well. Bring to a low boil over medium high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until thickened.

Beef Stroganoff Once the gravy has thickened, turn off the burner and add the sour cream. Depending on personal preference, you may want to add more than one cup of sour cream. Stir until well incorporated. Serve immediately over prepared wide egg noodles.

Beef Stroganoff Enjoy your meal.

Comments

  1. says

    “I may be unhinged, but I am not unplugged.” Love it. You’re so funny! This looks yummy, and since I have no idea what we’re having for dinner tonight, problem solved!

    • says

      Thanks, Karla! I rarely know what I am having for dinner, so I keep falling back on the old tried and true’s. How many times over the past 30-something years have I made tacos, spaghetti, meatloaf and baked chicken because they are easy and I don’t have to think about them too much? 🙂

  2. says

    Gorgeous meal! I hear you about slices of beef vs. hamburger. Now it’s not the money more than me being lazy when I use ground meat for stir fries and dishes. I hate cutting meat…. but there is nothing like getting those beautiful strips of steak in a dish like this. It’s much prettier on the plate too. 🙂

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