Stock Series: Stroganoff

When I was a kid I used to make that Hamburger Helper bullshit all by myself and loved it.  One day I realized it was gross and stopped eating it, but it occurred to me that real beef stroganoff is probably worth eating.  A few years ago I tried it and found I was right.  Last week I made stroganoff for the first time with homemade beef stock and it was the best yet.

Beef Stroganoff:

1 package wide egg noodles

1 lb. beef (lots of recipes call for tenderloin, but I’m no Moneybags McGee.  I’ve had delicious results with hanger steak, top sirloin, and stew meat.  When using tougher cuts of meat, it’s important to slice the meat against the grain.)

1/2 – 1 lb cremini or button mushrooms, quartered

1 medium onion, chopped

1 – 1 1/2 cups dry white wine

pint beef stock

1 cup sour cream

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

butter and oil, for frying

parsley, chopped

flour, for dredging

Start a big pot of water boiling for the noodles.  Follow the directions on the package, then toss in a bit of butter and cover while you make the sauce.

If using a whole steak (hanger or top sirloin or whatever), cut into bite-sized pieces and dredge lightly in flour.  If using stew meat you can dredge it and cook it in chunks, but you’ll probably want to slice it up for easier chewing.  Heat butter and a high-heat frying oil (sunflower, coconut, lard, etc.) over medium-high heat and brown the meat on all sides.  Remove the meat and set aside.  Add the mushrooms and let them cook out a bit, then add the onions and cook until most of the water has evaporated and the mushrooms and onions are starting to brown.  De-glaze the pan with the wine and simmer until it is reduced by at least half.  Add the stock and simmer until also reduced by about half.

Mix the cornstarch with a little liquid from the pan until smooth, then stir into the pan until it starts to thicken.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Replace the beef, let it warm up, then turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream.  Test again for seasoning.  Toss with the noodles, garnish with chopped parsley, and eat immediately.


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