Beef Stroganoff

DSCF2730Recently a friend created a group on a website that rhymes with acebook named “WTF are we having for dinner“. She invited all her friends, and we simply post what we’re making for dinner each night, thereby inspiring others for their own dinners. It’s a fabulous idea, it works wonderfully, and you should join us.

It’s become quite apparent through my postings in the group that I love love love love love stroganoff. And, I’ve been craving it for a couple weeks now. It’s so apparent, that my craving has become a bit of a joke in the group. Fortunately for me we finally satisfied that craving last night. And in doing so, I decided I would share my favourite stroganoff recipe with you.

There are measurements included in this recipe, but I’ve got to mention that I only loosely follow those numbers. There is leeway in this recipe, and you can tweak it to your liking with very little issue.

Start off with approximately 1 1/2 lbs of beef. A nicer cut is going to fry up nicer and be more tender, but really the cut you use is up to you. I used some form of steak last night (I have no idea what kind; we buy our beef from Costco and purchased a giant roast which we cut up into steaks). You can alternately use meatballs here, but I’ve never actually tried that in this recipe and imagine those would have to be cooked up ahead of time.

Cut the beef into strips about 1/4″ thick, then dredge the meat in around 1 1/2 tbsp of flour. Just put your beef into a bowl that has a lid (or use a 2nd bowl that is a similar size), sprinkle in the flour, cover and shake.

Mmm beefy buttery goodness.

Mmm beefy buttery goodness.

In a large frying pan, melt 1/4 cup of butter. This is the only real stickler in this recipe. Using oil or margarine doesn’t have the same properties and you really want the natural butter fats and flavour here. Once melted, toss in your beef and let it cook. Walk a way. Don’t stir it up, let it fry on one side, on medium-high heat.

After two or three minutes, I like to turn down the heat a little bit and then add 1 thinly sliced onion, and flip the beef. You’ll fry this up until the onions become translucent. Once this happens, remove the beef and onion from the pan, leaving the drippings.

Thicken to an almost thick gravy consistency.

Thicken to an almost thick gravy consistency.

Into the drippings, add:
 2 tbsp flour
     1-1/4 cup beef stock or consomme
     2 tbsp tomato paste
     1 tsp salt
     1 tsp dry mustard 

Mix these in very well, and stir constantly. This sauce will thicken fairly rapidly.

Once your sauce is an almost thick gravy consistency, add back your beef and onions, as well as a whole bunch of sliced mushrooms. That’s pretty specific, right? The original recipe I use calls for 1 10oz can of mushrooms, but I’m no fan of canned mushrooms and prefer to use fresh when ever possible. I also don’t limit my mushroom intake. I love them, and more is always better. So I use what ever I have left in my fridge and in they go.

I wish you could smell this right now.In addition to the mushrooms, add 3 tbsp dry sherry. This is listed as an optional ingredient in my original recipe, but seriously folks, you don’t want to miss this step. The sherry is where it goes from a tomato-y cream sauce to stroganoff. The minute it gets added you can smell the difference. It’s magic.

Once the beef is tender, add in 1 cup of sour cream or creme fraiche. Stir this in until the sauce is heated up again, but not boiling.

This is the part of the blog where I start digging through my fridge for left overs.

This is the part of the blog where I start digging through my fridge for left overs.

And that’s it. Serve this delight over noodles or rice and enjoy!

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