Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A new month and a recipe - Beef Stroganoff

One of my daughter's friends asked for the recipe, so I thought it may as well become a blog post.

My recipes tend to be procedural in nature which allows them to adapt to your particular circumstances more easily.

At the grocery store:
one package beef (read further to find which cut)
one or more cartons mushrooms
fresh rosemary
fresh garlic
onion or shallots
red wine (inexpensive table red)
Worcestershire sauce
olive oil
beef stock
carton of sour cream

Use an inexpensive cut meant to be cooked a while to get tender. Check what is on sale any particular week and use that. I have used round steak, chuck roasts and tip roasts.

Cut your beef into strips or cubes, discarding tendon and real fatty bits. A little fat is good and adds flavor.

Marinade the meat a mixture of olive oil, rosemary,garlic, Worcestershire sauce and red wine. The proportions are roughly 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, 3-4 glugs or bottle shakes of Worcestershire sauce (maybe about 1-2 teaspoons if you must measure), 1/3 cup red wine and rosemary and garlic.
Prepare the herbs by finely slicing 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, strip the leaves off a stalk or two of rosemary and with both of these on the cutting board, use a chefs knife to mince it all up fine.
Marinade at least 30 minutes, a couple of hours in the fridge is better.

Drain the marinade and put it in a pot. Add the beef stock and start it simmering.
Saute the chopped onion and/or shallots in olive oil .
When your onions or shallots are tender add them to the simmering stock.
Saute your sliced mushrooms in olive oil or butter.
Added cooked mushrooms to the simmering stock.
Cook the drained beef in small batches on fairly high heat in the frying pan. You want the meat to brown and get a slight crust. If you add too much meat at once it will bring the pan temperature down too far. Marinade will come out of the meat and it will boil rather than brown. This is not a tragedy, but is less than optimal.
Add the batches of cooked meat to your simmering broth.
When all the meat is in the pot, continue simmering until the beef is tender and the broth is reduced to almost nothing. If the beef is particularly tough you may need to add water during the cooking process to keep the meat from scorching.

When the beef is almost done, bring a pot of water to boiling and boil your preferred variety of noodles.
Drain the cooked noodles and put them back in the original pan you boiled them in with heat turned off.
Pour your beef, mushroom and onion mixture over the noodles.
Stir in a carton of sour cream.
Stir it all together. To be fancier yet add a little fresh ground pepper and/or a little fresh ground nutmeg.

Additional thoughts

White commercial mushrooms or portabella mushrooms can be used. You may mix mushroom varieties and in fact I have made a vegetarian mushroom stroganoff that was quite tasty. It was essentially the same procedure, just substituting mushroom for the beef broth and using 3 packages and varieties of mushrooms and of course deleting the beef.

When making this consider your own and the guest taste preferences and tailor your seasoning preferences to suit.



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