So after a nice, relaxing and long overdue mini hiatus, I’m back to posting. There is one teeny tiny problem with taking a break like this though. You tend to get rusty. It suddenly takes more time to find that magic angle that makes food look great and you end up staring at a blank screen and realize you have nothing to talk about. It’s not like I can throw the food at you and be done, right?
And it’s doubly hard to focus when Netflix goes and does things like give you all ten seasons of ‘Friends’ to watch. And Hulu gives you ‘Scrubs’. I predict a lot of binge watching.
But let’s focus. Beef stroganoff. It’s a pretty simply thing really. Beef steak smothered in a semi-rich creamy sauce, thanks to some sour cream. Lots of mushrooms and onions. And fun, spirally, spongy egg noodles as a filler so you’re not just shoving meat in your mouth like an uncivilized carnivore.
I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet for a warm meal on a cold day.
So how about some technique? You’ll want any kind of steak meat, whatever you can afford. Basically the fast-cook kind of meats. I went with top sirloin. Then you cut them into thick-ish strips so they still have some chew to them but not too much. I seasoned them with regular salt and pepper and dusted them with some flour.
Adding some flour to the beef strips before searing them adds a flavorful crust when browned and it also thickens the sauce. Try searing the strips independantly of each other to give them the chance to brown properly. It’s kind of a pain, I had to do mine in batches of three. But it’s worth it. You could also skip the flour dusting stage if it’s too much work and just sear the seasoned strips in one go.
It’ll also help to do this in a non-stick pan, preferably some kind of dutch oven so you have room for the heap of mushrooms later. Brown bits will pile up from all the searing which you’ll deglaze with some wine or beef stock for that yummy goodness to add to the sauce. People call it fond, but it sounds too much like pond or frond so I just call it yummy goodness.
Then it’s sauteeing the onions, garlic and mushrooms. The mushrooms will look disproportionate to how much beef there is. It’s always the case with mushrooms. They just look bigger than they really are when they’re fresh. I always, always, always have my doubts in the beginning but after reassuring myself to stick with it and commit, it never fails. They’ll shrink to half the size once they release their juices and all will be right again.
Also, I’ve added a cornstarch slurry towards the end to thicken up the sauce some. Once you add in some sour cream there will be even more liquid in the sauce, so you want it as thick as you can get beforehand. And that’s it. Boil up the egg noodles while you’re working on the stroganoff to save you some time. And don’t worry, there’s a lot more sauce to go around than pictured. I just wanted things to be visible and not just a pile of goop! Cause while it’s nice to eat it all saucy and smothered, it’s not that nice to look at!
Nutrition for a serving size of 6:
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