HOW TO 2: STROGANOFF
* 2 pounds beef chuck roast or sirloin
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 2-4 ounces butter, portioned for browning meat in batches
* 1 yellow sweet onion, sliced
* 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed beef broth, stock, or consumme
* 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
* 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
* 6-8 ounces mushrooms
* 2-3 cloves garlic, minced or sliced very thin
* 1/2 cup sour cream
* salt to taste
* ground black pepper to taste
Gather your gear, get all your ingredients together BEFORE you start anything. Nothing mucks up a stint in the kitchen like having to stop in the middle of cooking and run to the store.
The Southern Comfort is not part of the cooking process, its for the cook.
1. Remove any fat and gristle from the roast and cut into strips 1/2 inch thick by 2 inches long. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of both salt and pepper.
2. Put sliced meat in ziploc bag, add 1-2 cups red wine. Suck out air for maximum marinade to surface contact. Store in fridge for at least an hour, three if you can. I usually rinse excess wine off meat right before browning, as my wife and I aren't big wine people. The wine flavor is good and strong if you don't, subtle but tart if you do.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt some butter and brown the beef strips quickly, then pull the beef strips out to a plate/bowl. Brown in batches so you don't crowd the pan and get a nice sear on the outside.
3. KNIFE CHECK! Is your kitchen knife sharp enough? I think that mine just might be. What do you think?
(Look at the name of the knife embossed on the blade. That is fresh garlic, hand sliced so thin that you can read the name through it)
4. Add the onions and mushrooms to the pot and cook slowly for 3 to 5 minutes, adding sliced/minced garlic towards the end.
5. This is where the noise by the front door distracted me a bit. I investigated to find the cat apparently trying to disassemble the cardboard case from my beer. With her teeth.
I made a drink at this point.
3. Pour in beef broth, add flour and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add meat. Lower the heat and stir in mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is tender. I usually stir it every 15 minutes or so.
4. Five minutes before serving, stir in sour cream. Heat briefly then salt and pepper to taste. Now's a good time to drop some noodles to eat it with. Add the cream quickly but in small dollops, stirring constantly, so you don't curdle the cream and break the whole thing. This adds a boatload of flavor and really brings a creamy, silky texture to the sauce, plus helps thicken it a bit.
5. Plate. I use a shallow pasta bowl and serve over al dente egg noodles.
Looks good. I've never been a fan of Stroganoff in general as my mom would make it every dinner when we were growing up, but I am sure this is much better than the Hamburger Helper version I was subjected to.
I actually don't like most of the stroganoffs I've tried. That's why I was very cautious about how I made this one.
Quite often, there's either WAYYYYY too much wine for my palate, or they use cream cheese, or a shitload of funky spices and blackened meat, or some other wierdness. That's what I *didn't* want.
So, I started with the most basic components and used what little skill and knowledge I have to build up to the final dish. What I *did* want was a sauce with a creamy, almost silky mouth feel, a suble wine hint (not really enough to count as a standalone flavor, hence the rinsing), and of course the seared beef flavor to tie it all together.
This was my third try at it, with tweaks, and the better half has informed me that it is by far the best of the lot, so I've apparently finalized this one for the home cookbook.
Hrm. I wonder what to make next?
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