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Friday, May 23, 2014

"Better Than Brownies" Beef Stroganoff

With this blog, I am committed to put a little more goodness out into the world, so I must share this recipe. I usually make cheapy stroganoff with hamburger and sour cream, but I have seen the light. This was so good I had a transcendent moment where everything faded away except me and the plate of stroganoff. I wanted to eat it all. In that moment I loved it even more than brownies. I found it on allrecipes.com, where it has an unheard-of average rating of five out of five stars!

Chef John's Classic Beef Stroganoff
From Chef John: "This is a fairly lean version of beef stroganoff, as most recipes call for more cream. This is something you can easily adjust to your tastes. I like a little thicker version, with just enough sauce to coat the meat and noodles."
Prep time 15 minutes, cook time 1 hour 30 minutes

8 servings

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1/2-inch thick strips*
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 medium onion, sliced or diced
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water or white wine
2 cups beef broth, divided
3/4 cup creme fraiche**
1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
salt and pepper to taste
Cooked egg noodles or rice

  • Season beef generously with salt and pepper.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until nearly smoking. Stir in beef; cook, stirring constantly, for 6-7 minutes, until liquid evaporates and meat browns. Remove meat from the pan and set aside.
  • Stir butter, mushrooms and onions into the pan; cook and stir over medium heat until the vegetables are lightly browned. Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Stir in flour; cook for 1-2 minutes until incorporated.
  • Stir in water or wine and 1 cup of stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Bring to a simmer, cook for 3-4 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
  • Return beef to the pan. Stir in remaining cup of stock; bring to a simmer and cook on low heat for about 1 hour with the lid on, until the beef is tender and the sauce is thick. Stir every 20 minutes.
  • Stir in creme fraiche. Stir in chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over egg noodles.

*I used stew beef, which was cheaper, but I pressure cooked it separately so it wouldn't be tough and then simply stirred it into the vegetable/gravy mixture. This also sped up the cooking time.

**Creme fraiche is essentially fresh homemade sour cream. If you don't have time to make it, you can use store bought sour cream. But it's so easy: stir 1 Tb. buttermilk in 1 c. cream and leave it on the counter for at least 24 hours. I stirred mine occasionally. Your family will ask you about your strange chemistry experiment, and you can scare them by saying it's what they're having for dinner.

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