Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Beef Stroganoff

Way back when I lived on my own, I frequently made beef stroganoff. It made a lot of meals for the week, it was pretty simple to make, and, well, pasta. I love pasta. The one thing I didn't like about my recipe was beef bouillon granules. They were kind of a pain to find at the store (I usually could not find them) so I had to buy bouillon cubes but then I had to guess how many cubes = teaspoons granules and I'd get myself all confused & flustered. I don't mind guessing a bit now, but back then in my early days of learning to cook for myself, I was terrified of guessing. The recipe I used (this one) also always seemed a little lacking in flavor. I compensated by adding more sour cream, usually too much more.
It has been a very long time since I made/ate beef stronganoff. Eight+ years ago, SP didn't eat any beef, he couldn't eat pasta, and he dislikes sour cream almost as much as he dislikes mayonnaise. Since then, he has started eating beef (but only local, grass-fed beef). He saw more doctors and found out the celiac disease diagnosis was incorrect, so gluten (real pasta) is back on the menu. And as long as he doesn't have to eat sour cream that looks like sour cream (it's ok in dips & sauces), he's OK with small amounts it. But he still cringes in disgust when I eat sour cream dollops on top my pierogies or in my tacos.
So Beef Stroganoff is back on the menu, but not my old recipe. A new-to-us recipe from The Science of Good Cooking (America's Test Kitchen). I was excited to see how this turned out because the recipe calls for soy sauce, dry mustard, tomato paste, and wine or vermouth. Definitely not ingredients in my old beef stroganoff recipe. That was more like beef, mushrooms, beef bouillon, water, flour, sour cream. Now that sounds unappetizing.
After marinating the steak in soy sauce, it's the usual for these kinds of dishes: brown the meat, remove from pan, saute vegetables, add flour mixture, stir in liquids and remaining ingredients, while simmering until the sauce thickens cook the noodles, once sauce thickens add sliced beef to skillet, remove from heat and stir in sour cream and herbs, serve with noodles.
We chose to use dried dill instead of dried parsley and we used vermouth instead of white wine.
This recipe makes a really delicious version of beef stroganoff. The soy sauce makes the meat tender, it's salty so it's almost like a brine, and the glutamate in it boosts the flavor of the meat. SOGC uses the tomato paste to bring depth to the sauce, the dry mustard to give it a little kick, and the wine/vermouth to brighten the dish. This recipe is definitely a make again recipe - it's easy and really tasty and satisfying. It made enough for us for 2.5 dinners.

Recipe here.

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