Updated: Dec 4, 2020
A culinary classic that's both timeless and the perfect modern comfort food.
Beef Stroganoff is a dish of Russian origin, perfected by a French chef, and made popular in America in the 1950s thanks to businessmen and servicemen who sampled it in Asia during World War II. Sautéed cubes of beef and slices of mushroom swim in a tangy, creamy sauce typically spooned over buttered egg noodles. You certainly can make your own pasta, but extra wide packaged egg noodles are an easy and delicious alternative. The dish can be made with filet mignon, but top loin or sirloin work just as well. A mix of mushrooms is an effortless way to update this culinary classic!
Equipment: cutting board; chef’s knife; wet and dry measuring cups; measuring spoons; large and deep sauté pan; wooden spoon; tongs; large saucepan or Dutch oven; colander or strainer
2 pounds beef such as filet mignon, top loin, or sirloin, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
½ pound shiitakes, stems removed and cut into ¼-inch slices
½ pound crimini or button mushrooms, stems trimmed and cut into ¼-inch slices
2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3 shallots, finely minced
1 pound egg noodles
2 cups beef stock or broth
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Set a large pot of salted water over high heat to cook the noodles. Cook the noodles until tender, drain, and shake off any excess water. While the noodles are still warm, combine with 1 tablespoon butter and set aside.
2. Season generously the cubed beef with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat a large and deep sauté pan over high heat, add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the seasoned beef cubes to the pan without crowding, lower the heat to medium-high, and cook 2 minutes before turning to cook for another 2 minutes. Cook in batches if necessary, in which case add another tablespoon of oil to the pan for the second batch. Set aside.
ILOC tip: ask your butcher if he has any "chain" meat from trimming filet that he can sell to you. If you are buying a chateaubriand to trim yourself, save the chain meat for this purpose (either to use within three days or to freeze).
3. Remove the pan from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Once halfway melted, return the pan to the medium-high heat and add the minced shallots. Sauté for 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the shallots are softened without turning brown or scorching, lowering the heat to medium if necessary.
ILOC tip: since butter is usually added to a cold pan, it is best to remove the pan from the heat when you have to add it to a hot pan so that you are in control. It's all about technique, not torture.
4. Add another tablespoon of butter to the pan. Once melted, add the mushrooms and mix well to incorporate the shallots. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Sauté for 8-10 minutes, until the mushrooms have released much of their moisture, and they have wilted and softened.
"Scrape the bottom of the pan as you sauté the mushrooms and as they are releasing their moisture. This will help to 'clean' the pan, gathering the fond (the film on the bottom of the pan from searing the beef) and returning it to to the mushrooms and shallots."
5. Add 2 cups of beef stock to the pan and increase the heat to high. Once the liquid comes to a boil, immediately lower the heat to medium. Cook until the liquid reduces by half, about 10 minutes.
6. Stir in the sour cream and mustard. Return the meat and any juices to the pan and mix to combine with the mushroom sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the meat is cooked to your liking. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped dill.
7. Taste the sauce and then season with additional salt and/or pepper as needed.
8. Stir the chopped parsley into the buttered noodles. Divide evenly among four shallow bowls. Spoon the beef, mushrooms, and sauce over the buttered noodles. Top with fresh dill sprigs, if desired. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.