Beef Stroganoff

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When I was young, my mother used to make beef stroganoff, using essential ingredients that we could afford: hamburger, cream of mushroom soup, onions, mushrooms and sour cream. It was a hearty meal which she served over rice. Over the years, I carried on the tradition in my family and they loved it.

Although delicious, my hope was to take this old recipe up a notch, using a better cut of beef and omitting the cream of mushroom soup. The past several months, we’ve enjoyed quite a few test batches of beef stroganoff and now I’ve got it!

First a little history about the origin of beef stroganoff… “
“The dish is named after one of the members of the influential Stroganov family. A legend attributes its invention to French chefs working for the family, but several researchers point out that the recipe is a refined version of older Russian dishes. Elena Molokhovets’s classic Russian cookbook A Gift to Young Housewives gives the first known recipe for Govjadina po-strogonovski, s gorchitseju, “Beef à la Stroganov, with mustard”, in its 1871 edition. The recipe involves beef cubes (not strips) prepared in a dry marinade of salt and allspice, and then sautéed in butter. The sauce is a simple roux mixed with prepared mustard and broth, and finished with a small amount of sour cream.” Thanks Wikipedia, who knew?

Onions, mushrooms and sour cream were added as the recipe evolved across various countries around the world. Some even used tomato sauce, cream, vegetables, soy sauce (China), chicken and fish (Brazil) and even sausage (Finland). There will be no chicken, shrimp or sausage in this stroganoff but it may be fun to test chicken sometime.

Several cuts of beef were suggested in my research: top sirloin, boneless ribeye steak, beef tenderloin, filet mignon tips, flank steak, rump steak. and choice cross rib roast. And what did I use? Based on the rising cost of beef these days, I went with the one that was most affordable, choice cross rib roast (also recommended by the butcher at Smith’s for it’s flavor and lean nature). It wasn’t filet mignon or top sirloin, but it was tender and delicious. I hope you enjoy this updated recipe for Beef Stroganoff but don’t be afraid to use hamburger if that’s your best option!

Beef Stroganoff

  • 1 ½ pounds beef
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 10 oz mushrooms
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 T oil
  • 2 T butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 ½ T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1-2 T Dijon
  • Optional garnish: chopped fresh parsley and a dash of nutmeg

Pound beef to ½” and cut into thin strips. Season with salt and pepper. Peel and slice onion and chop garlic. Wash and slice mushrooms. Set all of these aside.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan and heat on medium-high. Once nice and warm, place half of the meat into pan in a single layer and sear for 30-60 seconds or until brown, then turn over and do the same on the other side. Meat will be slightly pink, but don’t worry, it will finish cooking later! Remove meat from the pan and set aside. Repeat, adding oil, then meat to sear the second half. Remove from pan.

Melt butter in the warm pan; add onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and continue to cook and stir for 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and continue cooking until onions, mushrooms and garlic are soft, another 3-5 minutes. If the pan gets too dry, add a little bit of beef broth, scraping the bits from the sides and bottom of pan.

Combine flour and beef broth; whisk until all the lumps are gone. Add beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and spices to the pan; stir to combine. Add sour cream and Dijon mustard; stir and let this simmer on medium low heat until thickened (4-5 minutes). Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Add the beef back in and simmer for 1 minute, then remove from the heat to avoid over-cooking the meat. Serve over rice, noodles or mashed potatoes. Garnish with a little fresh parsley and nutmeg.

Root  Notes

  • I researched several sites and combined their beef recommendations: top sirloin, boneless ribeye steak, beef tenderloin, filet mignon tips, rump steak, flank steak or choice cross rib roast. Of course, good ole hamburger is just fine too.
  • I used a choice cross rib roast, as recommended by my butcher. Priced the best, it ended up being perfectly tender, lean and flavorful. Since it was a roast, I cut it into ‘steaks’, pounded those out and then cut each into thin strips. Cutting against the grain provides optimum tenderness. Or you can ask your butcher to cut the meat for you. Our butcher at Smith’s here in Utah is always happy to oblige.
  • For the oil, I recommend avocado, light olive or coconut oil. See my post here for more information on the best oils to use for cooking
  • To make this recipe gluten-free, omit the flour and add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch to the beef broth, whisking well to get all the lumps out.
  • We normally serve beef stroganoff over egg noodles or rice. If you have extra time, mashed potatoes make this dish even more delicious and comforting. Whatever you choose, cook it as you are making the sauce so it’s ready to serve when the sauce is done.

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