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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Call Me Count Stroganoff

Fine Cooking Magazine
Back when I was a kid, beef Stroganoff was something that was only served to guests.  In the dining room.  Without my sisters and I in attendance.  It was grown up food.

Now that I am a grown up, I can have beef Stroganoff any time I want it.  The funny thing is that I never even think about Beef Stroganoff, let alone make it or order it in a restaurant.

But a couple of months ago I saw a recipe for Classic Beef Stroganoff in Fine Cooking Magazine.  That was about the same time that I made Ted's Aunt Ann's (famous in our family) Beef Balls Stroganoff.  What's with all the beef Stroganoff?  Absent for 30 years and now all of a sudden, it's everywhere.

Well, I'm not one to miss out on a trend, if you can call beef Stroganoff a trend, so I decided to give the classic rendition of this recipe a try.  How hard could it be?

Not very, as it turns out.  In fact, I think Beef Stroganoff may have been the equivalent of a 1960's 20 Minute Main Course.  Honestly, it took no more than 20 minutes to whip this up.  The beef is quickly sauteed and then set aside.  Then the mushrooms and onions are sauteed, sprinkled with flour, and simmered in beef stock and sour cream.  That's it.  Served over buttered egg noodles, (who am I to mess with tradition) and topped with a sprinkling of chives, it's a company worthy dish.

Beef Stroganoff doesn't seem quite as fancy as it once did, does it?

Recipe:  Classic Beef Stroganoff
(Fine Cooking Magazine, February/March, 2012)

*  Note:  Use reduced-fat sour cream at your own risk; it will likely curdle.


Kosher salt
1-1/2 lb. beef top round or shell steak, sliced 1/4 inch thick, slices cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. canola oil
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
10 oz. white button mushrooms, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (4 cups)
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion (about half a medium onion)
1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 cup lower-salt beef broth
1 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
1 12-oz. package wide egg noodles
1 Tbs. thinly sliced fresh chives


Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.

Season the beef with 1 tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Heat 2 tsp. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add half of the beef and cook, stirring often, until the meat is just browned, about 1 minute; do not overcook. Transfer to a plate and repeat with 2 tsp. of the oil and the remaining beef.

Remove the skillet from the heat. Add 1 Tbs. of the butter and the remaining 2 tsp. oil to the skillet and stir until the butter melts. Put the skillet over medium heat and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the onions are beginning to soften, about 3 minutes more.

Sprinkle the mushroom mixture with the flour and stir for 15 seconds. Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits in the skillet with a wooden spoon. Add the sour cream and whisk until the sauce is smooth. Add the beef and any juices from the plate to the skillet. Cook, stirring often, until the sauce is barely simmering. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the package directions in the boiling water until barely tender. Drain and return to the pot. Off the heat, add the remaining 2 Tbs. butter and stir to melt. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve the beef Stroganoff over the noodles, sprinkled with the chives.

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