Monday, November 1, 2010

Beef Stroganoff

I had the pleasure of sharing a favorite dinner recipe with my sweeties this weekend.  I learned to make a version of Beef Stroganoff over 10 years ago.  It is generally a very simple and comforting dish, and since I cheat a little, it's that much easier.

The recipe has evolved a little bit since I've learned to make it.  Traditionally in the UK and American incarnation, it is basically beef, wine, onions, mushrooms, made into a gravy mixed with sour cream, and served over rice or noodles.  My cheat is that instead of making the roux and gravy, I use Cream of Mushroom soup.  When I was seeing someone who was allergic to mushrooms, I traded it for Cream of Potato soup, and it turned out just as good.  After realizing I really enjoyed the potato in with it, I decided later to use both soups.

I start by slicing up Top Round, or Bottom Round, or another similar cut of meat into bite-sized pieces.  I then dice up a medium onion.  With about 2 tablespoons of butter heating up in the bottom of a dutch oven, I begin browning the meat.  As it begins to release its juices and brown, I toss in the onion  and chopped mushrooms and stir regularly until the onion is translucent.  Then I deglaze with about a cup of white wine (you can use red if you prefer, but it will turn the final sauce pink!).  Then I pour in a can of condensed Cream of Mushroom soup, and a can of condensed Cream of Potato soup and whisk it together and lower the heat to a simmer.

While it's simmering, I get the egg noodles boiling and then drained.

Once the sauce is heated through and thickened up, I take it off the heat and whisk in a pint of sour cream, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

Then I plate up some noodles, and pour a ladle or two of sauce over the noodles, and that's it!

I have also been known to make it with plain white rice, and I imagine it would be good with brown rice as well.

Simple ingredients, but really good food.

If you want to make it more authentic, instead of using the condensed soups, take out the meat after it browns, make a flour roux with the fat and juices from the meat, let it toast up a little bit,  and then add the wine.  Then add milk to round out the gravy and season with salt and pepper.

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