Saturday, December 3, 2011

Beef Stroganoff

If you’ve been around and reading this blog since Individual Beef Wellingtons then you know the provenance of the beef for this stroganoff.  I had half of a filet mignon or tenderloin and used the thick side to make two generous steaks.  The skinny end of the tenderloin, I sliced up into pieces suitable for stir-fry or stroganoff and threw them, bagged carefully, into the freezer.  In fact, I labeled the bag: stroganoff meat.  It wasn’t a lot of meat, but I knew it could be bulked out with onions and mushrooms and, served over linguine, make another generous meal for two or three.  And so it did.

1 cup sour cream (or 1 cup whipping cream, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, plus 1 pinch of salt)
320g or 11.25 oz beef, cut into thin pieces
2 medium onions
200g or 7 oz Swiss brown or other mushroom of your choice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 beef stock cube
300g or 10.5 oz linguine or other dried pasta of your choice
15g butter
Olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

First, I make my sour cream.  Obviously skip this step if you have store-bought.  Add a tablespoon of white vinegar to your measuring cup.  Fill to the 1-cup line with heavy whipping cream.  Stir thoroughly.  Add a pinch of sea salt.  Stir again and set aside.  This will continue to thicken and will be just like store-bought sour cream by the time you need to use it.  (This can be used anytime sour cream is called for in a recipe, sweet or savory.)

Over a low fire, melt the butter, adding a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. The oil will raise the burning temperature of the butter so it doesn’t burn by accident. While the butter is melting, chop your onions.

Add the onions to the pan and sauté gently until they are soft and translucent.   This could take as many as 10 or 15 minutes over a low flame.

Meanwhile, slice your mushrooms.

Add the 1/2 cup white wine to the pan and cook till it’s hot again. 

Add the beef cube and keep cooking over a low heat until the wine is almost completely reduced.  Once again, this could take 10 minutes or more.  You want the onions dissolving almost to a mush.

Put water on to boil and cook your pasta according to package instructions.

When the onions are pretty dry again, move them to a small bowl off the heat.

Turn the fire up high and get your pan really hot.  Add the beef all at once and continue to cook over a high fire so it browns.  You can add another couple of glugs of olive oil at this point. 

When the meat is mostly cooked, add the onions back in and then add the sliced mushrooms.  Your heat is still on high at this point.  Let this cook for several more minutes, until the mushrooms have softened and then turn the fire right back down to simmer.

Add in the sour cream, stirring gently.  Let it bubble along for a few more minutes until it thickens slightly.  Serve over the cooked pasta. 



  1. This is the closest stroganoff recipe to mine, which came from my mother's cook in the Czech Republic (Bohemia, then Czechoslovakia). It is supposed to be the original stroganoff, but I have no concrete evidence to support this! The differences are no bouillon cube and what is added are 2 very finely chopped tomatoes and 2 or 3 VERY finely chopped pickles (NOT Dill--in Venezuela we used Polaco Ogorky) But every other step of your recipe is exactly the same as mine.

  2. My mother wouldn't have put a broth cube either, Susi. I do that in many recipes where normal people would just add more salt. I think the beef (or whatever - sometimes I use vegetarian) cube adds flavor as well as salt.

    Tomato and pickles! Hmmm. I could do tomatoes but I fear I draw the line at pickles! I love them plain but I don't even put them in my potato salad.


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