In the midst of this glorious autumnal weather, I was motivated to fire up a batch of beef stroganoff tonight. This recipe represents an evolved amalgamation of several recipes, and I really think it’s my favorite.
Sorry – I took a whole mess of photos.
First, I get out the sour cream so it starts to warm up. I put one heaping cup into a small bowl.
Then, I add the ketchup. Originally, I used tomato paste. In addition to the fact that no one ever needs the entirety of those cans and I hate to waste, I actually think 2 tablespoons of ketchup works beautifully here. Plus it was all I had one time, and then it became my new way.
The secret to a tender stroganoff is the meat. If you’ve got all day, then by all means, choose stew meat and slow cook it. But I’m a last minute girl (with high standards) so I use a tenderloin end and slice it into bite-sized pieces. Pat it dry, cut it up, and give the bits a nice salting and peppering.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet or braiser. Add the beef and brown. Take a minute to enjoy the heavenly scent, and resist the urge to move the meat around.
Use tongs to turn the meat and brown all over. Meanwhile, slice the onion into rings.
Also, heat up a half cup of water in which you’ll dissolve the bullion. I know, it’s a questionable ingredient, and high-brow folks may prefer to use home-made stock. But dag, it’s so delicious and easy, and there’s something childishly satisfying about dropping the tiny brick into the hot water.
Once browned, remove the meat onto a plate to rest, and let the butter / meat drippings sauce heat up for a skinny minute. Add the onions to the pan and let them sear up.
Deglaze the pan with the bullion, using a wooden implement to get all the flavorings from the bottom of the pan. Inhale just a little. Yes . . .
Add a package of sliced mushrooms and mix them into the heavenly sauce with the onions.
Once the veggies are tender, spoon a bit of sauce to temper the sour cream mixture.
Mix this hot sauce into the sour cream mixture so that it doesn’t curdle when you add it to the hot pan. It looks horrifying, but don’t lose faith.
Add the sour cream mixture into the pan, and mix thoroughly. Then return the meat to the pan. Salt, pepper, and dill – everything’s going to get friendly for awhile.
I don’t measure the dill. I like a LOT, so I’d guess it’s something like a tablespoon.
Let everything mingle over low heat with a lid while you make wide egg noodles on which to serve this hearty sauce. A robust red wine would be nice, but since it’s a school night, I had sparkling water.
Serves 4-ish, depending on how hungry everyone is, and freezes well.