09 March 2023

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff - A Comfort Food Classic / www.delightfulrepast.com

Beef Stroganoff is one of those classic dishes that seems to go in and out of fashion. It is said to have been invented in 1891 by French chef Charles Briere while in the employ of a Russian household. 

The first recipe for Beef Stroganoff in an English language cookbook was in 1932. It became very popular in the US after World War II, then again in the 1960s and at other points over the years. And it appears to be having a moment now, at least at my house. 

Various cuts of beef can be used for the dish to suit different budgets and schedules—meaning the less expensive cuts require longer cooking. I didn't have time for extended cooking to tenderize a cheaper cut, and since I was only making it for two, I used a boneless beef ribeye steak. If you really want to push the boat out, tenderloin or filet mignon is a good choice.

I decided years ago to cook the steak whole and then slice it—rather than the usual slice-and-then-cook method—for two reasons: 1. It's too easy to overcook those slices, and 2. searing the whole steak develops better browning for great fond and flavor without the risk of overcooking and toughening that expensive beef. If you're using a tougher cut that requires long cooking, slice the steak before browning. 

When was the last time you made Beef Stroganoff? As with other dishes I love, I tend to forget about it for a while and then make it frequently for a time, then it seems to "fall out of rotation" until it occurs to me again. I'm making it again this week!

Beef Stroganoff - A Comfort Food Classic / www.delightfulrepast.com

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 Beef Stroganoff

(Serves 2 or 3)

1 12- to 16-ounce (340 to 454 grams) boneless beef ribeye steak, trimmed of excess fat
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided (including noodle cooking water)
3/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
1/4 cup diced or sliced yellow onion
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 of 12-ounce package (4 ounces/113 grams) wide egg noodles
2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces/59 ml) brandy
1 cup (8 fluid ounces/237 ml) lower sodium beef broth
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 Add 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil to thoroughly preheated skillet, continue heating until oil shimmers, and cook the patted dry, salted (1/8 teaspoon) and peppered (1/4 teaspoon) steak to medium rare; it will cook further after being sliced and added to the sauce. Remove to cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. 

2 In 2- to 3-quart saucepan, start boiling 1 quart of water with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

3 Drain off most of the fat from pan, and add onion, cooking for about 5 minutes. Add butter, mushrooms, 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper, and the Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, slice the rested steak about 1/8 inch thick across the grain; set aside. And stir the noodles into the rapidly boiling salted water; cook for length of time specified on the package.

4 Sprinkle the flour over the onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Stir in the brandy and beef broth and cook, stirring, for a few minutes until thickening. Stir in the tomato paste and mustard.

5 Just before serving, stir in the sour cream, then the sliced steak. Cook over low heat just long enough to get heated through and steak to be to your preferred doneness; do not overcook and toughen the meat. Taste and adjust seasoning.

6 You can either add the cooked and drained noodles to the stroganoff or add the teaspoon of butter to the drained noodles and serve the stroganoff over a bed of buttered noodles. Garnish with minced fresh flat-leaf parsley.

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